I am admittedly a “walk it off” type person. I have always believed that if you stub you toe or sprain your ankle, or get your foot caught in a chipper shredder, you can fully heal yourself by walking it off. There’s something magical about hobbling around with a stubbed toe, moaning and repeatedly chanting a mantra like “ouch ouch ouch” or “shit shit shit” that brings about complete recovery.
You all know I’m a stay at home dad. As such, I cannot rely solely on the magic of “walk it off.” I must utilize the girly power of nurturing. This is a foreign concept for most of us manly men. Yes, I consider myself manly. No, you may not check with my wife on that. But I admit that when a child trips on absolutely nothing and falls face first into the grass, coming up with a face full of dirt and grass bits, laughing out loud only sometimes makes it better. Sometimes the wound is more than “not serious at all” and requires…well, nurturing.
So how does a dude nurture? It’s not by giving head noogies, or shoulder punches, like you’d think. And it’s not using statements like “ah, it could be worse” or “you’ll live” or “holy crap I can see bone…awesome!” You have to think like a mom for this kind of thing. A stereotypical mom…not the mom that smokes cigarettes around her kids and trips them on purpose and then yells at them for being clumsy. That mom sucks. I’m referring to what I’ve picked up from my wife over the years. (Besides the migraines HAYO!!! ZOW! KIDDING!)
Normally when one of our kids “eats it” they will look around to see if anyone is looking. Once eye contact is made, a visual appeal for sympathy occurs by tears and loud crying. Mom acknowledges that appeal by using a weird form of baby talk, “ooohhh baby! What happened?!” This causes the child to run towards the open arms of the mom. She will then hug the child and sympathize with their pain. “Oh that must hurt!” or “Oh no, my poor baby!” The child will nod in agreement and incoherently explain what caused the horrific trauma that everyone was already witness to. It will sound so much worse than it is. Mom will then offer to cuddle-hug the child and kiss the wound, and somehow it magically becomes healed. Even if there’s no blood, but just that white scratch look, the child will request one of those unbelievably expensive cartoon bandaids, and mom will oblige. This is nurturing. Gross. But I do it.
For my two year old, if me imitating him falling on his face doesn’t instantly cheer him up, then I revert to imitating mom and her nurturing. It’s amazing what a hug and a wound kiss can do. I’m still in awe that children think that kissing a bloody wound has any effect. But then again, Santa is coming at Christmas, and the Easter bunny just recently pooped out jelly beans and hid eggs around our house, oh, and there’s a tiny magical flying chick that will pay money for teeth (which I firmly believe she gets high on somehow….why else would you pay for that stuff)….so….
So how do you nurture? Are you a “walk it off”er or a “kiss it better”er?