I took my son to the doctor today because for the past 5 nights he's been hacking up a lung and sometimes throwing up parts of it (okay, maybe that's just curdled milk, who knows), and, well, enough is enough.
But this isn't about that. This is about my son becoming a...MAN (or trying to become one).
So after waiting 50 minutes in the room with only four books (I read that, read this one, read that one, I DON'T LIKE THAT ONE!), a chalk board, and an exam table, my kid was about ready to explode with impatience. After chalking up my pants, I refused to let him suck up the last 30 minutes of my phone's battery so he could play games (fair punishment), and I proceeded to send angry texts to my husband about being fed up and ready to blow up on someone.
All the while, a little voice from the other side of the room was saying, over and over, "Momma? Can I get up here? Momma, can I get up here?" 'Here' being the exam table, which I already told him to have at it as long as he doesn't try to stand up and walk around on it. So I continued to send angry texts to my husband while brushing aside the small voice from the other side of the room until I saw legs and arms waving about and a loud thump and a bit of a cry.
Ooops. Great parenting.
I rushed over, picked up the stool (hey, appearances first in case someone comes in -- oh no, no, he wasn't trying to climb up there with that, noooo), and then picked him up and snuggled him on my lap.
And then, well, he proceeded to bunch up his little face and hold back every single tear in his head.
"It's okay, you can cry," I told him while having flashbacks from another recent incident where he hurt himself but refused to cry...oddly enough my husband was there at the time....I started to become suspicious of all the daddy and son time and envisioned my husband drilling into my four-year-old's head that it's not manly to cry.
Instead of crying, his hurt and pain and frustration turned into furious anger.
"I WANT TO LEAVE RIGHT NOW, MOMMY! I WANT TO GO HOME!" he told me in short bursts
"I know, baby, but we need to wait."
"NO, YOU WAIT! I'M GOING TO TAKE YOUR KEYS AND DRIVE HOME AND LEAVE YOU HERE!"
"Oh, baby boy," I said. "You're just mad, and that's okay."
"I'M GONNA LEAVE!"
"YOU NEED TO MAKE ME LAUGH!!!!"
See, that's our thing. He's sad, I make him laugh. He's upset, I make him laugh. He's mad, I make him laugh. He's happy, I make him laugh. It's what we do.
"Oh, I need to make you laugh, huh?" I asked. "I can do that."
"No.You.Can't.Mom-my," he told me.
"What's this thing here? A....butt?" and I gently poked his butt.
And instead of crying or being mad and threatening to take my car keys and leave me at the doctor's office, he burst into his normal, joyous laughter.
You better believe I mentioned this incident to the husband (minus that part about me not paying attention while sending him angry texts about being trapped in a doctor's office for 50 minutes with our child who was on the verge of losing it) and you better believe I insinuated that my husband has been feeding our soon this crap about not crying.
He didn't deny it.
But I have a feeling no one really fed this load of crap about 'not crying when hurt' to my son. I think he's just growing up. And now I know to hide my car keys.