Some days I wonder how some people make it to parenthood, let alone adulthood. Seriously … I work with the public, and am in constant contact with some very interesting people. Most days all I can do, short from asking them if they are serious, is just keep my mouth shut and shake my head. Oh, if you could only hear the conversations that I have with myself in my head … Yeah … If I could say what I really want to say and exactly what I feel …
Take for example the woman who came in because she stepped on something and she just knew that there was a tiny piece of a wood splinter in her foot. The Doc on examines it, and orders the appropriate x-ray, and finds nothing. However she is insistent that there’s a splinter in her foot and she wants it out. The Doc explains to her that it’s not visible, and that there is no reason to cut open her toe to find a splinter that may not even be there. She is devastated because her toe hurts, she wants us to find that splinter. Ultimately, she is discharged home. She’s upset because she doesn’t understand that cutting open her toe would be FAR worse than just letting the “invisible” splinter work itself out. She tells us that she would be heading to another ER for a second opinion.
Then there’s the mother who brought her son in to the ER because he told her that he was playing and his heart stopped. Really? He was playing, then he came to you and just told you that his heart stopped? Well, yeah, and I want him checked out. I ask the child if, when this happened, he fell or if he passed out. He tells me, no, that he was just playing and it stopped. Here’s the kid bouncing off the wall in my triage room, as happy and as healthy as can be. Okay? Could she not see that her son was perfectly healthy? Did she really want us to find something wrong?
What about the 7 year old girl, whose mother brought her in because she threw such a huge temper tantrum that “she started shaking and just didn’t look right.” She, too, was acting appropriately in triage, albeit she had what I call the “sup sups,” you know the diaphragm spasms that you get when you have yourself a good cry? Nothing wrong with your kiddo, Ma’am, except that she knows how to play you and get what she wants.
Then there’s the 15 year old girl who shows up with an infected tongue. Hmmm … let me see … yep, it’s green. Through her lisp, she tells me that she just got her tongue pierced. I tell her to take the piercing out, and she argues with me that she can’t because of the fact that the hole will close. Um … I look to her mother for a little support, and I find none. She tells me that she doesn’t listen to her ever. She tells me that she told her not to get the piercing, that she was against it. I shake my head, then turn to my patient, and tell her once again to take out the piercing. I explain to her that her tongue is infected, and that it could get worse. I tell her that she doesn’t have a choice unless she wants to lose part of her tongue. I ask her to try and swallow without using her tongue. She tells me that she can’t. Case and point, now hand over the piercing.
I love this one … Young boy comes in with a head injury sustained from falling off his bicycle. I ask if he was wearing a helmet, and his mother says that he was not. I ask why and she tells me, “I can’t make him wear a helmet.” Excuse me, ma’am, but you are his mother, are you not? YOU ARE HIS MOTHER! You don’t need to explain anymore. If he wants to ride his bike, he wears a helmet, no ifs, ands, or buts!
If I sound judgemental, I don’t mean to be. I won’t tell anyone how to parent their child, but it does grate me when parents tell me that their kids don’t listen to them. What? YOU are the parent. They don’t get a choice. We are responsible for them at least until the age of 18, and this means that we prevent them from causing undue harm to themselves as best as we can. This doesn’t mean that they get coddled, or that we overprotect them. It means that they don’t parent you. They don’t get much of a say when you decide something, they don’t get to tell you what they are going to do. I don’t understand why some parents are afraid to discipline their children. It’s not that hard. Children need boundaries that they cannot cross. They need rules. They need that discipline.
Too many times I see parents who are overwhelmed and have the look of defeat on their faces. I say that they gave up, they let their kids “win” because they don’t want to hurt their feelings, or that they want to be their kid’s best friend. You are not supposed to be their friend, you are their mother/father, suck it up, and be the parent that they need you to be.
I smile when my nine year old daughter, can spot a rowdy, obnoxious kid and tell me exactly what he needs – a good spankin’! She can tell if a baby is tired and needs a nap, or if it’s hungry and needs something to eat. I listen to the conversations that my boys have about kids who are annoying, and how they understand that their parents are in need of being parents.
Mind you, I am not a “perfect” parent, but I am the parent. My kids don’t get away with much. What they do get away with are minor incidents that don’t require any or much punishment, but rather a stern talking to. I am thankful to have a husband who is a great dad, and who is on the same page as I am when it comes to parenting. That’s important. My kids have wild requests for tattoos and earrings, etc. The earring I can handle. The tattoo, they know not to ask until they’re 18. For the most part, my kids are just as spoiled as the next, and they understand that they have it pretty good. They’re great kids – smart, funny, polite, individuals, and I would not trade them for anything. I am thankful, and I know that I am very blessed. I have to thank my parents, who didn’t let me get away with anything, or raise me to be an idiotic adult. Thank you, Jesus!
Now … Repeat to yourselves as you peruse the following pictures … “I will not complain about my children. I will Not complain about my children. I will NOT complain about my children.”
***Note: I downloaded these pics from the internet. I don’t know who these individuals are personally, but I DO understand that they are someone’s children. I am just amazed, and looking at them, it makes me even more thankful and grateful for the children that I have been blessed with. God bless the parents of these children. I only hope that they are loved unconditionally …