Carrie On Parenting: Revenge of the Wolf-Criers

I truly love the story of “the boy who cried ‘Wolf.'” It sank in to me when I was little and throwing a big fit about nothing at all, and my wise mother ingrained in me the idea of only making a fuss over things that really deserve it…because, in our family, we don’t sweat the small stuff. And… let’s face it, no one likes a whiner. And everyone appreciates people who will stand up, shake it off, deal with an argument themselves, or just suck it up and move on.

Sarah, my 7-year-old, has learned this lesson beautifully. Tate and Sawyer, not so much. Tate is learning not to cry wolf, but it’s taking longer. Sawyer cannot yet talk, but he can whine, and so when I hear babbling that can only mean he is trying to talk and communicate like a regular person, I celebrate like he just scored a touchdown. When he whines and follows me around, I ignore him. Or employ sarcasm well beyond his understanding. I’m sensitive that way.

So, friends, when I hear yelling, tears, and even crashes, my first instinct is…to do nothing. I say this in the most delicate way possible, but I simply have a very low tolerance for refereeing fights, reconstructing “who started it,” and assigning punishments appropriately. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not the absentee mother who has no clue what my kids are doing. Instead, I want them to solve their own problems and, for goodness’ sake, learn to get along with others without mom having to intervene.

And… let’s face it, no one likes a whiner. And everyone appreciates people who will stand up, shake it off, deal with an argument themselves, or just suck it up and move on.

If there is loud crying while my kids are playing, there had better be blood, lots of it, attached. There should probably be a limb hanging loose, or at best, something that will require minor surgery.

This may sound completely insensitive to some of you, and that’s okay, but my kids know that, when it really counts, I have their backs. I will swoop in and do my best triage nurse impression for bloody encounters. I will kiss boo-boos’s in direct proportion to their severity, and if necessary, I will call in my neighbor, the head pediatric nurse at the children’s hospital down the road (jealousy accepted here), and he will talk me down from the ledge if I even think of doing something crazy like, I don’t know, going to the ER for stitches. Only once have we gone to the ER, which is a story for another day.

So, in all my doting motherhood (read: wishing my kids would never whine again, or at least find someone who is more willing to listen to that crap than I am), here is my week:

Monday: Sawyer, in an ill-timed, awkward, 18-month-old impression of something he saw on Dancing with the Stars, busted his lip wide open on the coffee table that night. Should’ve seen this coming…he is not exactly graceful. He is a toddler. Did he cry? Yes. Did I pick him up? Yes, but I made him walk to me first. No first aid even administered because it’s a mouth injury, and he took a swat at my face when I tried to put Neosporin on it.

Tuesday: The boys were racing around the house (it was raining outside), and Tate somehow fell up the stairs. While that in itself wouldn’t necessarily constitute a severe injury, the fact that he somehow found an errant nail under the carpet on that vertical space between two stairs and cut his knee open on it…did. However, I didn’t even run for the tetanus shot. Lightning McQueen band-aids made it all better. And no, he could not remember which stair he had fallen upon, and closer inspection revealed no culprits.

If there is loud crying while my kids are playing, there had better be blood, lots of it, attached. There should probably be a limb hanging loose, or at best, something that will require minor surgery.

Wednesday: Still raining, and Sarah and Tate raced to the mailbox to get the mail and back (arguing the entire time, I might add). While I was conscientiously sitting in my car in the garage to return a text message, my daughter flew into the garage with wet shoes, slid on the slick floor, fell, and bruised her tailbone. I did pick her up and got her some ice and Ibuprofen. What would really make her feel better? Watching cartoons in my bed.

Thursday: In a great game of “Introducing,” in which we motivate our children to get dressed quickly in the morning in order to be loudly introduced, a-la-jock-jams, like they were the starting lineup of a basketball team, Tate ran into the room, tripped, and promptly blacked and cut his eye on a wicker laundry basket. And just so you know, applying liquid bandage to an eyelid is not a good idea. That prompted a worse fit than the actual injury.

And here we are. TGIF. Tonight, we have grandparents in town, and we’re getting a babysitter to put the kids to bed and then make $10/hour to watch trashy reality TV that her parents wouldn’t approve of. Our kids know where the first-aid stuff is, but I’m guessing (hoping) that we’re all stocked up on injuries for this week, thanks. If not, the babysitter has instructions to find our pediatric nurse neighbor…stat.

Advertisements

One thought on “Carrie On Parenting: Revenge of the Wolf-Criers

  1. We take the same fight approach, one comes and whines that the other is hitting an bullying. We tell them if you don’t hit back then it will probably never stop. (The whiner is way older) the next time she slapped her and they haven’t had an issue since. I’m sure that sounds awful but for parents who have been there it really is the only lesson to learn at that point.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s