Sunday, October 23, 2016

You're OK, kid, walk it off

I find it interesting how children interact with their parents.
When my boys were younger, it was clear their mom and I each had particular roles to play.
If they wanted to wrassle, roughhouse, or generally do things of a testosterone nature they came to yours truly.
I can remember one instance when the boys, who were around eight and six at the time, were using me as their personal wrestling dummy.
They would attack in tandem and I would fend off the assaults that came from every direction imaginable.
I stopped the action and asked why they never wrestle their mom this way.
My oldest stopped, looked at me and with all seriousness said, “Because we love mom.”
The younger one agreed and the assault resumed.
It's not that they didn't love me, but they decided it was my role to give them noogies while holding them in a headlock.
It was mom's job to provide a more nurturing role.
As little guys, they determined mom was the giver of affection and dad was the jungle gym, punching bag and wrestling mat.
Their mom also took on the role of academic assistant. When they needed help with their math homework or something of that nature, they ran straight to mom.
This had nothing to do with me being the dad, but everything to do with mom being a lot smarter than I am.
However, when they needed help repairing their bike (later on their cars) they came to me, because while their mom makes me look the intellectual equivalent of a neanderthal with a learning disability, I am fairly handy with tools.
I spent a lot of time fixing my own bikes and cars over the years, so I could apply that knowledge to assisting my spawn.
And while they interact differently us, my wife and I interact with them differently.
Being boys, I expected them to come home with scrapes, bruises and the occasional boo-boo.
If they were walking, talking had all their appendages and assorted body parts, I would generally say “You're OK.”
And they were – aside from a few minor injuries that is.
I witnessed many of my dad friends do the same thing with their kids.
“You're OK, now pick up your spleen and put your bike away.”
Of course, if the injury was more than just a minor boo-boo, I knew exactly what to do.
“Where's your mom!”
Mom would then rush in, assess the situation and apply whatever type of care is needed. From a Bandaid to a hug, mom could cover it all.

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...

Copyright 2016, Darren Handschuh

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