Gavin is a bit of a wimp when it comes to scrapes, owies or boo boos. I know it's not nice to say this about your child, but there is just no way around it. At the sign of a scrape, he melts down. He is so incredibley over dramatic about any potential scrape, when he actually gets one it's as though amputation is on the horizon. It is hard to actually determine the true degree of "ouch" because everything is a near death experience for him.
I try to be sympathetic, but after a half hour of crying over nothing...literally no sign of anything, my patience is stretched thin and my empathy has flown out the window. Honestly, my two year old girl handles things better. And so when the elbow injury, that actually invovled blood, occured last week, I was already starting deep breathing and self talk to try and muster up the patience and mother love I'd need to get through it. It took awhile, but we did in fact move on. Until bed time.
At bedtime, Gavin was rustling around and finally I see the tears start pooling in the bottom of his eyes. When I asked him what's wrong he says, "How am I going to sleep with a scrape on my elbow?"
My thoughts? What in the world kid! That happened about 6 hours ago! What I really said, "Gav, think about it, it's already healing, don't you think you'll be fine?"
"Noooooo," tears getting closer to falling, "I can't lie on it...it touches things."
Oh geez. At the end of a long day, long week, I had so little left and yes, this is in fact what I said, umm sang, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger...stand a little taller"
Gav, probably wondering what is wrong with me, looks taken aback and says, "that's Amanda's song." (Well, yes, my daughter does happen to love this song. So, we refer to it as Amanda's song. I know, I know, she should probably be singing things like itsy bitsy spider, but I just can't handle that stuff. So, Kelly Clarkson it is. Things could be worse.) "Mom, what does that mean?"
Even though I was just singing, so as not to scream in frustration, I decided to go with it
"Well, the that's like this scrape. It didn't kill you, but it's making you stronger. Every owy makes you a little bit stronger, cuz you know you can get through it. So, we don't whine and cry, but we try to remember that we are getting tougher by healing."
I flipped Gav over onto his other arm and laid his scraped one ontop of the covers. And he dramatically declares, while gently placing the scrape away from any sheet, "Oh, this is great Mom. So I am gonna get stronger, now?"
"Yes Gavin. Good-night."
Next day: We have a little boy over who I watch three days a week. He happens to have scrapes on his arm and is declaring that they hurt. I mention that so does Gavin, but we are working on not whining while we let things heal. (Sidenote here: When things are truly painful and they really do have an injury, I do allow for tears and a bit of complaining. But if you could see these scratches, you would be on my side...trust me.) Anyway, Gav shows his friend his scrape and declares,
"It's making me stronger. We don't complain, but we learn to get stronger after each boo boo"
I had to laugh. My moment of parental survival. Singing so as not to heave a huge sigh of frustration over my drama king...and he takes my words to heart. I am glad at least there is a lesson here. He will get stronger by learning from mistakes, hurts and boo boos. I looked it up and the original credit for the quote goes to Frederich Nietzsche, a german philosopher. But who are we kidding? I am ever so humbled to admit the truth...my best parenting moment of the week was brought to you by Kelly Clarkson.