Scabby Knees

I was not the most coordinated of children. The liberal application of Savlon and the acrid smell of iodine, pepper my memories. I doubt I’m alone. I’d argue that it is a rite of passage to spend summer days with plaster adhesive and scabs tattooing knees and elbows as a young ‘un.

Born Clumsy?

Back in the 80’s, circa 1982, we lived in Cornwall in R.A.F. quarters. I’m sure it was not the first calamitous episode my parents endured but along with learning to ride my bike, my aptitude for accident is one of my earliest recollections.

I was five or six. We had a garage (to house our Austin Allegro) but it was a short walk, down a steep hill, from the house. I remember walking down there one summer evening, holding my dad’s hand. I spied a brick in the middle of the pavement and alerted my dad to the fact, warning him to watch out.

Obviously I then proceeded to trip over the brick myself. My face was scratched. There were tears and snot. And more tears when the grit had to be cleaned out. The scabs may have healed but lessons were sadly not learned.

If only it had been a one off. As I grew, as did the potential for disaster. Bikes. Roller-skates. Tree climbing. Scaling walls and riverbanks. Frankly I’m surprised I still have skin on my knees and tears left to cry.

Apples Don’t Fall Far From Trees

So I ask myself, is my clumsiness hereditary or are all children equally as accident-prone as they get used to their bodies?

The evidence comes in the form of daily slips I pull from Harry’s rucksack. We’ve had head bumps. Scratches. Cuts. And daily visits to the medical room. I’m beginning to think there’s something drawing him there? Do they get a jelly baby with every drop of blood drawn?

Today we were still getting over Friday. I was told he fell over in the line. They weren’t even moving. They were lining up. He still managed to add to his abrasion collection when stationary. Off he was packed to the medical room to have a damp paper towel applied (the magical cure used by every teacher for all ouches)

Only, on return to the classroom, he fell over again! On the knees he’d already grazed! We had a weekend of Oscar winning performances trying to get him in the bath (amazing how the swimming pool didn’t sting and he was in there with zero drama).

So today we could’ve done without incident. But no. When you scoot at warp speed down the incline towards the school gates, frankly you’re asking for injury.

He stacked it. Majorly. It was like a slo-mo scene as I yelled “slowwwww dowwwwwn” as he sailed through the sky and landed with a bloodied crash.

Cue a visit to the medical room before 8:45. That’s go to be a record. And I can confirm there were no jelly babies. I can’t see the appeal myself!

Bulk Order Plasters

This will not be a one-off. Whether his two-left feet are genetic or just a symptom of his zest for life, I foresee more cuts and grazes to mop up. This situation is not aided by his lack of trouser leg now the sun shines.

I think this is my prompt to invest in a first aid kit and all the plasters. Or perhaps bubble wrap around the knees and elbows?

How do you teach grace and caution? Asking for a friend…



  1. Poor Harry! I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to slow them down, william flies around at 100 miles an hour. He head butted me this morning because he was bouncing up and down 😆

    Liked by 1 person

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