Scraped knees at 40

Life with kids is fraught with danger and if one of your kids is a boy.. well God save you. Being born in a small mohalla of old Lucknow precluded much outdoor activity for me through most of my childhood. (The popular games then were kite flying and marble playing.. both of which I didn't quite take to). I was a nice quiet little girl, reading my Nancy Drews and Little Women, playing Chinese Chequers and Carrom.

I learnt to ride a two-wheeler in my thirties.. so no falling of bikes either. The only violence I ever remember was getting into physical fights with my sister and cousins -- the hair pulling and whacking. How we dwelt upon those miniscule scratches! The 'hurts' was examined endlessly and reproachful glances exchanged for ages till we finally made up. No scraped knees and elbows for us  all through childhood.

Cut to now... there's hardly a day when my twins come home without a scraped knee or a bad elbow. Yes.. well I know that's part of growing up and I'm cool with it as the kids quite seem to take it in their stride. (My daughter will say "see mama 'bread' is coming out, but I'm not crying").

My problem begins when I'm made to join in these games. Coming home with scraped knees at four is fine but at forty.. well it's a bit strange.

Yesterday I was playing 'catch and cook' with my son. I was running with my eyes on him and suddenly zoooooom.... and there I was standing with one leg upto the knee in the gutter. Fortunately the dirty water reached just upto my ankle. I pulled out my soaking wet foot and didn't even have the luxury of examining how hurt I was.. because my son stood there saying, "Catch me mama, catch me" while my daughter (in total imitation of me) came up with a, "Mama toh brave hai, strong hai.. mama dust your hands and get up quickly" ..Damn!

Then there was the time when my son was learning to ride his bike. He insisted I run with the bike... I would have been okay with it had he been in any real danger but he was riding with side wheels for godsake.. how dangerous could that be? But then who needs logic at three? So there I was running with the bike and then he decided to take an impromptu turn and I tripped royally. Down we went the kid, bike and I. This time I didn't even think about whether I was hurt -- jumped up, picked up the bike then hugged him. Thankfully he wasn't hurt at all through his jeans.. I on the other hand was limping around for a week and admiring my blacks and blues for days together.

All I hope is that I get better at all this... sooon, or that the kids grow up fast and leave me in peace with my books and my laptop.

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