Oh, Why Yes, I WILL Tell You How to Parent, Thank You for (Finally) Asking!
Not humble. Definitely bragging.
Today we went to our local urgent care for some deep nose picking in the name of public safety (COVID nasal swab tests)- a preventative measure. We’re negative on the rapid test- in case you’re wondering if you have to Lysol down your eyeballs after reading my words that I breathed on- you don’t. (Please don’t).
The Physician Assistant remembered us, because the last time we were there- at least a year ago- we came in with then 8 year-old Henry, with a deep eyebrow laceration from where he walked into a wall while wearing a blanket over his head. The PA remembered us, not because it was such an idiot injury, but because Henry handled the stitches with such calmness, laughing with me through most of it. The PA said that 99% of the time, he sends kids with lacerations to the ER because he just can’t/won’t hold kids down or deal with their squirming (especially when it comes to sewing so near eyes). Also, I had told him I was a surgical PA when I was there, and he remembers being worried that I was judging his sewing on my kid (I was, he was magnificent).
So, today he said he was confident Henry would handle the nasal swab no problem, and when he asked about Anna, because he hadn’t met her yet, she looked right at him and said, “LESS TALKING, MORE SWABBING.”
So, once he was done laughing, he said he has an infant child, his first, and asked us how to raise his kid to…be like our kids.
I smiled benevolently from behind my mask and let him kissed my gloved hand. ;) Not really- I told him we’re straight with our kids- if something’s going to hurt or suck, we tell them, and we tell them why it’s important, how we made the decision to endure the pain, what the goals are. We also won’t hold them down or tell them that being brave means just taking the pain. They’re encouraged to make their own calls, to say when it’s too much, pause, ask questions, emote. We’re not raising stoic robots, we’re raising people who understand that sometimes they have to do hard, unpleasant things to stay healthy. I didn’t launch into all the emotional intelligence we’re trying to teach them, or the sexual education we’ve started…because the talk:swab ratio was already failing, according to Anna.
It felt amazing to be complimented on our parenting, and to reflect on how some of it is going…not terrible. Because, gotta tell you, there’s not a lot of feedback generally. We feel like we’re fucking up non-stop. Our kids don’t listen, we yell, they rage, they beat the living shit out of each other, they eat WAY WAY too much sugar, they don’t sleep great (related? no, shut up), they do things like slam themselves into walls and climb on top of the van while we’re waiting to be seen outside an urgent care…they’re not especially well-controlled or well-maintained young humans.
But. They’re pretty sure of themselves and able to communicate their feelings. They’re learning to be in control and to maintain themselves, without our influence, which is, after all, the end goal.
So, today we celebrate not currently having the COVIDs and being legends of the local urgent care scene.