Band-aids For Gangsta's

Children's fascination with band-aids worries me. Apparently, there's an urban legend of sorts circulating within the social circles of kids between the ages of 3 and 8 claiming band-aids contain some sort of mystical healing powers with the ability to cure all manner of ailments, big or small. But it's not just the healing powers attracting kids; it's also the subtly negative messages of rebellion going along with it. I blame two entities for perpetrating this myth, our education system and corporate marketing.

I'll start with our flawed educational system, and more specifically those few teachers out there working in pre-school and elementary using band-aids as a distraction technique. As soon as little Johnny or Suzie starts blubbering about their bleeding knees or the pencil jabbed into their thigh, Mr./Mrs. Coddlemouth whips out a band-aid and the world suddenly is a better place. Why can't these teachers just be honest with kids and tell them to just "suck it up," or "apply direct pressure," instead of reaching for those sticky strips of deceit? Don't they realize this is exactly the type of actions convincing more and more people that socialized medical care is the responsibility of our government to provide. What will they distract Johnny and Suzie with once Hillary becomes president and tax-payer, funded band-aids for schools are cut so hospitals can hand them out for free instead? What will it be Mr./Mrs. Coddlemouth? You better learn the phrase, "Suck it up," sooner than later.

But how could they not keep handing them out like candy, now that corporate marketing types divisively decorated band-aids with cartoon characters, and pretty colors. With Sponge Bob and Strawberry Shortcake plastered on boxes, band-aids are a kids equivalent to ecstasy or acid. Now, for every tummy ache and sore finger, children believe the quick fix is a hit from a product meant to help, not harm. The band-aid "cartels" are perfectly OK with this knowing kids will burn through band-aids quicker than a hippie smoking an doobie, with the end result being even more band-aid sales.

This is disconcerting for me, and I believe it's leading children down a path encouraging gang-like activity. For Allie and Avery, wearing colorful band-aids with street-worthy tags, are like displaying gang-affiliated tattoos. Avery, in particular, appears to have taken this trend to the extreme as I watched her walk into her pre-school class and lift her pant leg to reveal her latest skin art. One of her classmates even exclaimed, "Nice one, Esse!" to which they celebrated with hand-slaps and a chest bump. I also noticed the class was segregated into two groups exchanging glaring expressions with one another as they occupied opposite ends of the classroom. I later learned these pre-school rivals were the "Scooby Doo's" and "Hello Kitties" as designated by their affiliated band-aids, and that nap time rumbles between the two were becoming increasingly more frequent as more kids added more and more band-aids.

Allie, on the other hand, doesn't appear to be involved in such activity, as she only sports one band-aid on her knee. Not to imply she is innocent given she broke into her mom's Cola-cabinet and helped herself to several Diet Cokes making her susceptible to the idea of getting a band-aid from some all-night place out by the airport at the encouragement of her all-to-enabling sister. The only consolation in the matter is Allie at least had the good sense to get an off-brand, butterfly band-aid one on her leg and not a Barbie on her lower back.

To show you what I mean, I added some pics to this post, which Avery was all too willing to comply with, given the opportunity to throw her rebellion in my face (Avery has five now - two of which she added before church Sunday, presumably to scare the other children).

What happened to the days when I was a child? When I asked for a band-aid my request was always answered with qualifying questions such as, "Is it gushing blood?" or, "Did you loose a limb?" Ninety percent of the time the answer would be no, but for those instances in the remaining ten percent it didn't matter anyway because we never had band-aids to begin with. I remember one time in particular when a large black snake latched onto my thumb leaving four bloody holes after I shook him off. Knowing I qualified for a band-aid with the blood, yet not wanting to alert my mother that I had just "released" a fairly large snake somewhere in the house, I ingeniously requested some masking tape for an "art project." A few inches of take wrapped on a few fingers, add some smiley faces and viola! Instant finger puppets, and with no one any the wiser. Later I realized that electrical tape worked just as good, and on any given day you could find me wearing either version on knees, fingers, elbows, etc.
So, for all you socialistic teachers and unscrupulous marketing types, keep those fancy stickers you call band-aids. This is how kids should roll. That's "Old School," people. Word to ya, Mutha (just don't mention that snake story to mine)!

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