One of the tougher aspects of being a parent is the whole litany of bumps and bruises kids pick up.
Most people will tell you not to beat yourself up about it - that kids are kids and they'll run into things, or trip and fall, or pinch their fingers somehow, or...
Well, the list goes on.
Mihret has, for the most part, lucked out a lot on that score. My mom has told me, dozens of times, that as a kid I wasn't all that graceful, and that when I learned to pull myself up to standing, I didn't learn to get down at the same time.
So if she saw me standing up, she'd throw a pillow down behind me. Because I would need it.
Mihret was not that way. She figured out right away that once she got up, she needed to be super-careful about getting down.
And then there was the crawling thing. Where so many kids get those clunks on the head, crawling around, getting under things, lifting their heads up suddenly... she didn't do that.
Kara and I figured this was the 'fro factor. Since our little one has a half-inch of hair between her and whatever she was going to collide with, she had some warning, or perhaps it was the bit of padding, that meant she didn't hit it hard enough to get into yowling territory.
Her big problems tend to be her fingernails, which grow very quickly and seem to be as sharp as the blade on my pocketknife. As recently as last night, with only a week and a half since I last cut them, my daughter the Wolverine managed to give me a little cut above my lip with an errant swipe of a finger.
So whenever I see a little cut on her face, I figure she just got a little overzealous.
And things were good.
Yeah, there were bumps and bruises, and she's had a little cut or two, but, well, you know. They happen.
And then came my birthday.
I should have guessed it was going to be a little worse than usual when Kara called me at work. "The day care called," she said. "They said that Mihret had a little accident, but that she's fine now and she's outside playing."
I shrugged it off.
Then I got home. Then Kara brought Mihret in the door.
With a big old scab across her nose. Probably the biggest I've seen on her.
"Look at her teeth," said Kara. "Do they look chipped to you?"
Now, let me just say, my kid has an awesome smile. She can't quite control it yet, the way adults can, but when she's giggly and happy, she's way past cute.
So I looked at her teeth, and, yep - chipped. Just a little. Just enough so that you go, "Oh, no, they're fine - no, wait, yes, they're chipped."
Now, my teeth aren't perfect in the slightest. I've done the whole mouth full of metal thing, and it was not great, and at the end of it my teeth decided they still weren't huge fans of symmetry.
But the problem is, fixing teeth, really fixing something that's chipped involved veneers, and glue, and often stuff like screws and surgery.
And as my dad noted - there's another set coming.
On the advice of friends and family, I've been watching for the teeth to turn gray, or to otherwise indicate that they're causing Mihret pain, but she's fine.
Her scab healed and flaked off, and the area above her nose has cute new pink skin, which will darken over the next couple of weeks and match up with the rest of her lovely face. And yeah, eventually her baby teeth will fall out, replaced by new, perfect little rows of white.
When we got the accident report from the day care, it noted that they had tried, several times, to ice the wound on Mihret's face - but that she wanted to get down and play. And so, eventually, they let her.
Would that we could all shake off our hurts so easily, secure in the knowledge that the troubles of today won't matter to us in the slightest a few years down the road.