Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tough Guy

Every parent knows that your child has different kinds of cries. Brenden has several. There's the "I'm crying to get attention/what I want/because I'm not happy with your decision" which sounds so fake that I'm sure anyone could pick it out. There's his "I just had a terrible dream and I'm really scared" cry that we only hear at night. He has a tantrum throwing cry that is ridiculously loud and sounds like he's screaming so hard that he's going to make himself sick. There was even one morning that he woke up and started crying and I immediately thought, "He's going to throw up." Sure enough, he did. Thank goodness we made it to the bathroom. Not sure how I knew he was going to be sick, it was just the very first thought I had as I ran as fast I as I could to his room.

He's added a new cry recently and I'm not sure why, but it bothers me more than any of the others. He falls down...a LOT. He's had many run-ins with stairs, the edge of the fireplace, the back of chairs, our hardwood name it, he's probably hit his head on it. I can't keep track of how many times a day he runs up to me saying, 'My toe hurts!" after he's stubbed them or "My knee hurts!" from hitting it on who knows what. This new cry, which I've only noticed twice, comes out when he's hurt himself but really doesn't want to cry. It's like he's trying to suck it up and be strong but just can't hold the cries in. His eyes fill up with tears, his breath starts catching, and he starts saying, "I'm okay! I'm fine!" over and over. Eventually he can't help it and he starts crying, because when your arms go out from under you and your chin bounces off the hardwood, it HURTS. Shoot...I'D CRY.

Where did this idea of being "tough" come from??? We never make fun of his crying, even when we know he's whining to try to get his way. I get really mad when someone whines back at him or fake cries when he's upset because I very clearly remember how that felt and I hated it. We do tell him, "Crying will not get you what you want" but I didn't think that he would take that to mean he shouldn't cry if he's hurt. He's only 2! The "I'm tough" shouldn't kick in for a little while, right? Like, when he's at least in preschool or something?

Maybe I'm reading too much into it. Maybe he just wants to keep playing and not have to slow down to cry. Still, it hurts me to see him in pain, whether he cries or not, but to watch him try to suck it up...that really kills me.

He's already growing up too fast. I can already see how his poor little heart is going to be hurt by mean kids, like the not so nice older boy at the dance studio that says some of the rudest things to him because Brenden wants to sit by him or the little kids yesterday that Brenden waved at in the car that shot him dirty looks. How am I supposed to help him handle what's coming if I can't stand to see him just trying not to cry? Growing stinks for all of us!

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