Friday, August 05, 2005

Mom and Dad Doing the End-Zone Dance

Last night The Wife took The Girl for her one-year checkup, which included two shots. (I stayed home with The Boy, trying to prevent him from careening into walls during his maniacal laps around the house.)

As The Boy has grown, my parenting goals have become more modest. He’s so attuned to his own personal drummer, and so ridiculously energetic and bright, that I’ve gone from ‘maybe I can help mold his character’ to ‘maybe if I hide everything sharp, he’ll make it to seven.’ He listens when he chooses to, pushes boundaries all day every day, and follows his own internal logic (if that’s the right word) on just about everything. It’s not malicious; he just knows what he wants (or doesn’t want) to do at any given moment, and he’s not shy about saying so.

The Girl was a trouper. She cried when the shots went in, of course, but she let it go fairly quickly.

The shock came when The Wife and The Girl got home.

The Boy asked if she got shots. I said yes. He asked TW if TG had her stuffed bear (she did). Then he walked over to TG, saying “oh, sweetheart, it will be okay,” and gently stroked her hair. For the next 15 minutes or so, as the bedtime rituals commenced, he was attentive to her, sweet, affectionate, and reassuring. They both went to bed without incident, and slept through the night like little angels.

If you don’t have kids, it might be hard to appreciate the magnitude of this. The Girl slept though the night after getting two shots. The Boy showed intelligent, thoughtful, genuine concern for his sister, and wasn’t even angling for anything.


Sometimes, they surprise you...