Monday, April 6, 2009

You're OK

The way children interact with mom compared to dad is different in a variety of ways.
When my boys were younger and they wanted a hug or something, they went to Mom. If they wanted some good old-fashion rough housing they came to yours truly.
They are teenagers now so they don't want either one of us to give them hugs, but if you sneak up on them when they are not looking you can get them in a vice lock before they have a chance to escape.
One of the greatest threats I ever devised is I will show up at their school and give them not only a hug, but a big ol' kiss on the cheek in front of all their classmates.
It is amazing how fast those dishes get washed once they realize I am serious.
Anyway, as little guys they determined mom was the giver of affection and Dad was the jungle gym, punching bag and wrestling mat.
One day as the two of them were tackling me and generally acting like young bucks I asked, “Why don't you ever do this with your mom?”
“Because we love mom,” was the reply before a double team took me to the ground yet again.
But that is just the way it is. Mom was always the one to provide the hugs while dad was the go-to guy when it came to full-contact fun.
It's just the nature of the difference in genders. Mom's tend to be nurturers, while dads tend to deliver noogie-filled headlocks.
Just like how kids interact with their parents is different, the way parents interact with their children is different.
When a kid gets a minor injury like a scraped hand or tiny cut or something, mom will hug the kid and gently wash it before putting a bandage on it and getting ice cream for the injured party.
Dad will also assess the wound and if he determines it to be minor he will respond, “You're OK,” before moving on to the next topic.
I have witnessed many of my friends do the same thing.
“You're OK, it's fine, you'll be alright. Now pick up your arm and put your bike away.”
Of course, if the injury is more than a little scrape, the dad knows exactly what to do and immediately leaps into action.
“Quick, where's your mom, she will make it better.”
Mom then comes to the rescue, assesses the situation, takes care of the injury and both child and dad get ice cream. The kid gets it to help them heal and dad gets it to help him get over the mental stress of such an ordeal.
It's not that dad's don't care, they just do things a little differently than their female counterpart.
For example, my oldest son loved to climb trees when he was small and the apple tree in front of our home was a perfect place to hone his skills as a monkey.
One day he fell out of the tree, a distance of about two metres. I ran to the window in time to see him get up, dust himself off and give me a big grin.
I made sure he had not hit is head or broken anything before giving my official diagnosis of “You're OK.”
When I told his mom about it a couple hours later, she called him over for an examination that came just short of a full body CT scan.
When she was done, she reached the same conclusion I did, he was OK.
I hate to say I told you so, but...

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