|Why'd You Let Me Get a Bloody Nose?|
At 9 months of age, most babies are crawling and just starting to pull themselves up to things. Kevin, however, is now walking. He doesn't even need any help standing up. He can go from a sitting position to a standing in less than five seconds.
Though this makes his parents quite proud, it has also been a bit trying. Now he can hurt himself even more frequently! Usually, he does pretty good. He knows how to catch himself with his hands when he falls forward, and he knows how to fall on his backside pretty well. However, when he falls and things are in the way, he tends to get a few bumps and bruises.
Last night, he was walking around the living room and he walked up to our bookshelf. He wanted to see the books that were on the bottom shelf, so he leaned forward, not realizing that the shelf above was just the right height to clock him in the face as he fell forward!
I saw him hit and I rushed over. As I held him and he cried, he looked okay, but after a couple minutes, his nose began oozing a bit. It never really bled too badly, but it kept oozing on and off the whole night. I got blood on two different shirts. He was pretty tough though. He cried for about five minutes and then his daddy took him outside and he felt better.
I don't think there is any way to really stop kids from getting hurt, and maybe we shouldn't be concerned if they get a few bumps and bruises, but it sure is hard! Grig and I have tried to let Kevin be a bit more independent. When he falls, we usually don't rush over. We wait and if he looks at us, we smile and clap for him. This has made it so Kevin only cries when he's actually hurt.
As Kevin gets older, he will continue to make mistakes and choices. Sometimes he will be hurt by the consequences of his own actions. As parents, sometimes I think that we want to protect our children from these consequences. We want them to have peaceful, carefree childhoods. However, if we don't let children make mistakes and learn from them, how are we going to keep them from making even bigger mistakes later on?
During a parenting class one time, the speaker told a story. He told us how he was at the fair one time with some friends of his and their son. The boy came running up and asked his parents if he could buy a toy airplane that a vendor was selling. The plane was very cheap and poorly put together. Instead of telling their son no, however, the parents asked him if he could afford it. The boy quickly counted his money and told them that he could. The parents allowed him to buy the plane.
The man was concerned and asked the parents why they had allowed their son to spend money on such a junky toy. The father explained that the son had earned that money, and after taxes, he got about 80 cents a week. The toy had cost about $5.00. The man was shocked that they boy was using that many weeks worth of allowance to buy a poor toy, and again he asked why they had allowed the boy to purchase the airplane.
The father explained that when he was in college, he had found a really nice car. It was very expensive, but there wasn't much going on under the hood. The exterior was quite fancy, and the father had bought the car. When it broke a short time later, he lost a whole lot more than five dollars. The father explained that they wanted their son to learn to be wise while he was young, so that he wouldn't make the same mistakes when he had more to lose.
A few minutes later, the boy came back crying because his plane had broken. The parents didn't say, "We told you so..." or "Now do you see why..." They didn't explain the lesson to him. They simply held him and comforted him and allowed him to learn the lesson himself.
I really liked the example of these parents. I want Kevin to make lots of mistakes now when I'm here to comfort and love him, and not after he's on his own. I want to help him to learn to make good decisions because he wants to, and not because I want him to. Grig and I feel the same.
So, Kevin might get a few bloody noses here and there, but he's learning. And the more he learns, the less often his nose will bleed.