Yesterday we were riding over to Nana and Pop’s after having been to a birthday party for a friend’s 1-year-old. The party was wild – in a good way. Kids were running all over an indoor gym and Madeline had had a lot of fun once she got over her initial shyness. But I began to worry that something had happened when I wasn’t paying attention because she was sitting very quietly in her car seat, staring blankly out the window.
“I’m right here. Just looking at things.”
Dave and I exchanged a concerned look. Did someone do something to her? Did another parent yell at her? Did a child push her or call her a name?
“Madeline, are you okay?” I asked.
Again, no answer. She continued looking out the window, averting eye contact with me. Oh my gosh. Okay, something was definitely wrong. How was I going to get it out of her? How could I help her?
“Did something happen at the party?” I continued to gently prod.
“Madeline, you can tell us if something happened,” Dave added.
She still wouldn’t look at me and I had to swallow down the dread. What could have possibly happened to cause my ordinarily open child to close up like this?
“You can tell us anything,” I said. “Honey, please tell me what’s wrong.” She must have heard the urgency in my voice because she finally looked at me.
“No…Nothing,” she stuttered. “Nothing.” Oh boy. This was her go-to reply, a stuttering “nothing” when something was really wrong.
“What is it, Madeline? Tell me.”
Finally, she seemed ready to talk.
“Yes,” I said, holding my breath.
“I have a wedgie.”
If only all of our future heart-to-hearts would prove to be so anticlimactic, involving nothing more than big-girl panty wedgies…