Husband & Wife Articles


Band-Aid Solutions

Little adhesive strips can make love stick

By Maryan Vander Woude

Little kids love Band-Aids®. It’s one of those first principles of what-to-know about kids. And the adhesive strips don’t even have to feature latest cartoon-figure. The plain, old, supposedly skin-colored ones will do just fine. Kids just love them.

Somehow I forgot this little rule of thumb at a picnic about fifteen years ago, before marriage and children imbedded the lesson in my genes.

Vander Woude Family

It was a beautiful Sunday in May for a retreat with families from the Catholic school where I taught. The picnic after Mass included several sports games, so I came prepared with a first-aid kit for little emergencies.

Sure enough, one of the kids got a scrape, and his mom brought him over to me. As I was digging out a Band-Aid for the injured child, his cute 4-year-old cousin came over and said, pointing to her knee, “I had a boo-boo here.”

“Ooohh...” I said, sympathetically. I turned to look at her knee and saw absolutely nothing. Without much thought, I went back to wiping out her cousin’s wound with antiseptic.

“It hurt when I fell down,” she continued. I uttered more soothing sounds but didn’t look over again. I was applying antibiotic ointment to the scrape victim.

“Mommy gave me a Band-Aid.” Now I switched to “Mmmm,” while taking the wrapper off the super sport, mesh-style strip.

“Band-Aids make it get all better, you know,” she informed me. “Mmmmm," I agreed as I landed a Band-Aid on her cousin’s injury.

Desperate to convey her message, the girl scooted her knee into my line of vision and said: “This is where I fell down,” while pointing emphatically to a scarless spot on her perfectly smooth knee.

Just as I was about to give her one more gratuitous nod and “Mmmm,” her aunt finally interceded. “Umm, she really likes Band-Aids. She got them for Christmas. Not in her stocking, but from her Mom and Dad, for her present.”

The light bulb went on, finally. In my first-aid efficiency, I forgot one of the first principles of what to know about kids. My inner scold cried, “Maryan! Give the kid a Band-Aid already!” I placed it neatly on her non-existent boo-boo, and away she skipped, happy as a lark.
As the Mom in me now knows, Band-Aids are more than sticky strips to kids; they are badges of love. They proclaim: “I got hurt, but someone loves me and took care of it. Now it will be all better.”

Fifteen years and six boys later, I’ve found that Band-Aids are an integral part of my life. Daily injuries are guaranteed, and that some of them will be gruesome is equally certain. I mean, seriously, has anyone else had a pencil break off in their son’s foot? And to be clear, I’m not referring to the graphite tip, but the actual wooden pencil itself. Thus, my bathroom shelves reveal something about my life with six boys, and the lesson I learned on a Sunday in May.

There are three first-aid kits in my bathroom.

The first kit is a red canvas bag with “FIRST AID” written in capital letters. It contains butterfly Band-Aids, knuckle Band-Aids, and sterile gauze with its matching tape. The two clear hard-covered kits hold the standard waterproof or stretchy strips in all sizes and their accompanying antiseptics and ointments.  I wish I could say these three sit on my shelves getting dusty.

No, sadly, they come out for many injury parties. 

But once we get past the hydrogen peroxide/antiseptic ointment part of the party, the first principle about kids and Band-Aids never lets me down. Whether the Band-Aid is butterfly stitch for a big gash, or the itty-bitty paper-cut size, the grateful look from a bandaged son who knows his mom made it all better makes this seasoned mom downright sappy.

When Mother Teresa said that we should do “small things with great love,” she certainly could have had Band-Aids in mind.

(Band-Aid® is a registered trademark of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.)

Maryan Vander Woude lives in Virginia with husband Dan and their seven children, and blogs about their adventures at A Lee in the Woudes.