Friday, March 6, 2009

Rub some dirt on it

As I previously mentioned, my oldest son, Jonathan, is a rather sensitive 10 year old boy. My wife and I are growing ever more concerned that he is becoming too much of a wuss, to put it bluntly. Don't get me wrong, my wife and I accept who Jonathan is and will become with all of our hearts as we love him dearly. He is a great kid and the concern comes from where both Lynn and I went through as pre-teens. We both experienced the pointed end of the stick when it came to teasing. Hell, they even called my wife "ogre" and I was, well, a nerdy wuss. I know the ogre comments still affect my wife to this day as she brings it up on occasion. I wish she could see herself through my eyes (and most likely anybody else) as she quite the opposite of being an ogre.

So, we are wary when it comes to Jonathan crying openly at such trivial matters and his inability take a little pain. You know how the old playground rules were, you'd get beaned by a ball and instead of crying they'd tell you to rub some dirt on it and get back in the game. My son, unfortunately, will go to the nurse at any sign of sniffle or some little ache that he gets. He always looks to get sympathy or some sort of band-aid or ice pack for any minor injury. I know he's only 10 but I see how even my almost 8 year old, Gabriel handles some pain and while he may try to milk some goodies out of you, he won't dwell on it like Jonathan does. Jonathan will worry about all sorts of things that may happen and get upset over things that haven't even taken place. If it hasn't happened already, Jonathan will develop a reputation of being a crybaby or wuss. I don't want him to go through the same painful childhood that we did.

Just 2 days ago I came home to him bawling loudly in the living room. He said with his lips quivering that he was on top of "T-Rex Mountain" (a snow mound where the plow sticks the snow in the parking lot behind our house) and fell and banged his knee "very, very, VERY HARD!!" (and how it must be broken!) I asked him how he made it home as it takes about 3-4 minutes to walk home and he said he walked. Right then and there I found my father channeling his parenting skills through my body and mouth and I immediately dismissed his pain and basically went cold to his crying.

"Well, if you can walk on it, it's not broken."

"Sniff, really? But it feels broken."

"Well, it would swell up if you did something serious to it. Take off your pants and I'll take a look at it."

"BUT I CAN'T, it'll hurt!!"

"Stop, yes you can, do it!"

He made a big production out of how much it hurt to take off his jeans, but I wasn't buying his crocodile tears. I took a look at his knee and saw no swelling or anything that indicated that his leg was seriously hurt. He then made another big production out of getting his pants back on and just then his mother came downstairs from her shower. He took one look at her and the water works started flowing like a broken dam.

She gave him exactly what he wanted, a big hug and some sympathy. I sometimes wonder if it would be better if I showed a little compassion. But as bad as it sounds I feel that I don't make a big deal out of it he eventually won't either. Maybe I'm wrong and if I give him some TLC he can feel better and go do his usual thing, but I doubt it as his behavior over the next day and a half was almost comical. He was fake limping around. You could tell that the limp was fake since he was doing such a bad job at it. His refusal of making his leg straight was making my wife crazy. He was more worried that it would hurt if he would straighten his leg than actually getting hurt from the crazy limp he was doing.

We sent him to school despite his protests. We also informed him the he shouldn't go to the nurse about his leg pain as we weren't going to pick him up for it. We should have known better as his weird limp caught the eye of the teacher and then Jonathan blabbed that he wasn't allowed to go to the nurse. (I'm hoping that she hasn't reported us to child services yet.) Last night I finally forced him to straighten his leg out and walk on it or else he was getting punished. He complied and claimed it hurt but you could see he was walking fine.

This morning I had confirmation that he was fine as he ran into the kitchen after I told him we had Munchins from Dunkin Donuts that his Uncle Duane gave him and his brother.

I honestly don't know what to do at this point. I might even seek professional help for some of his behaviors and moods. I want him to be happy and stop worrying so much about things that are either out of his control or might not even happen. I know I had similar issues and it hits you harder when you see your own child go through the same thing. Maybe I should just be like my father and let him work it out on his own (because I turned out so well? HA!), but my gut tells me that isn't the best thing to do.

Can you rub some dirt on your soul and get back into the game?


Lottery Larry said...

Been there, still doing that to some event. I'm not much of a sympathy person for this either- get some dirt and get back in the game!


Anonymous said...

that would be "extent", not "event".... dumbass


Anonymous said...

Step 1: Send him to a Performing Arts School
Step 2: ??
Step 3: profit