Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Small Things

It's almost impossible to feel awful when eating a popsicle. You can feel bad again as soon as it's gone and you're back to where you started, only now with a stick. But usually I think you feel just a little better. I was thinking it might be hard to be angry while eating a popsicle too. I mean, think of your last tense encounter---what if everyone involved had been eating popsicles? What if each time we argued with our spouses, popsicles magically appeared in each of our hands? I suppose we could poke and gouge each other with them, but I doubt we would, especially if the popsicle is banana, my personal favorite. They could be handed out at budget meetings. Imagine a dozen middle-aged corporate types around a conference table, each with a mandatory popsicle. Or not. There's comedy in here somewhere, but I'm not inclined to pursue it this morning...only coffee.

Last week Orion fell at daycare. His teacher called and we went and checked him out and he was fine but I discovered yesterday one of his teeth looks dark, so today we're going for xrays. Apparently, teeth can bruise. We're hoping this will be the news, rather than that the root is damaged. The permanent tooth should be okay, but he may, unless it is a bruse, have a dark tooth for several years. Poor kid, he is getting a vaccination this week too, ouch, and a haircut.
We try to protect our kids, it seems, from every little thing. All those things that we remember hurting and being scary. I wonder though, sometimes, if we haven't become too protective? I don't mean about safety, or nutrition, but things like life's little discomforts and disappointments? It seems to me the these awful (at the time) little things we endured as kids made us strong enough to deal with larger issues as adults. Are we creating a generation of weaklings?
I need a popsicle.

I wonder if anyone makes coffee popsicles...

Thanks so much for all your rat orders!!! I spent yesterday painting rats and thinking and planning the new work for fall. We are still getting some Tiny Stories in, thanks for helping spread the word on that. Soon, Bob will start selecting some and I'll start thinking on illustrations.



K said...

Poor wee Orion. I hope he comes out of his week of ordeals smiling. Personally I find haircuts about as bad as vaccinations (my waist-length hair is not entirely a style choice).

You could be right about life's disappointments having a useful side to them. Certainly I don't think it's an advantage in life for everything you undertake to go well. I am close to a couple of people who have always got top marks (metaphorically and literally) for everything. Does it make them happy?

No, it makes them perfectionists. Because if you've never had to deal with an outcome that was less than you'd hoped, you fear it more. Indeed, you can end up scared to start something in case it isn't a success, and stressing far too much over works in progress. (It is one week until my boyfriend hands his thesis in. This topic is very much on my mind.)

I'm not saying it's good for the soul to fail at everything - but if you never encounter much in the way of a trial, you never learn that the trials don't kill you.

jordan's mom said...

I rather like K's observations, and was thinking that too much safety creates an unrealistic outlook on life (ie, Barbara Bush in Houston...)

It also can create a person full of fear. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of failure. Fear of movement. And ultimately, nothing is ever risked, so, nothing is ever created. No growth. Safety for the price of stagnation. It's a pretty miserable way to live, really......

Give Orion hugs and kisses, and reassure him that he'll be able to deal with it. Odds are, he will; probably better than his mom....

Anonymous said...

There does seem to be a dearth of coffee popsicles... the one product Google turned up has been discontinued - (darn it, because if they hadn't been discontinued I would have sent you a couple boxes as a surprise). That being said, there are always the Starbucks brand Frappucino Bars. If you don't want to support the Coffee Sheep Masters, I did come across this blog entry where the recipe is provided near the bottom of the page for Vietnamese Iced Coffee popsicles.

Protecting our young is something that I believe is instinctual... our intellect has allowed us to be better at providing that protection, but the desire to protect I do not think has its basis in rational thought. What some folks override is the instinct to let their young learn from their mistakes, insulating them from almost everything in hopes of saving them from the suffering they endured as a child. The parents who dust their kids off, make sure that nothing really bad has occurred, and take the time to point out when mistakes happen (e.g., running in the house where there is no room for such activity vs. running around outside where there is plenty of room and sunshine) are probably preparing their children for dealing with the real world. The key is always to not make them afraid of a given activity (like running around or just being a kid) unless it really is an activity that is unhealthy (like driving a car while drunk). I like to think that most folks fall into this category, when they are actually paying attention to their children, but then again I can only base this on my observation of others.

Derek Ash said...

The last time we caught our five year old driving while drunk we took away her car keys for a week.

And didn't I think I was clever having all her teeth surgically removed at a young age. No fuss, no muss. Well, no one told me how expensive it is to replace pediatric dentures every year or so. And apparently, they do eventually grow back. Who knew?

And speaking of both life's little mishaps as valuable lessons and unfortunate dentistry... I would have had the large and rather gnarly chip in my bottom front tooth repaired (graciously bestowed upon me by yet another drunk person in my highschool years when he thought I had a crush on his girlfriend, which I did... but I digress...) but when I found out how much it would cost I decided that it gave me "character" and that I would instead tell people I was previously a pirate.

I trust you are all taking notes.

I think socially, Orion has nothing too severe to worry about. Teeth seem to be on the very bottom of the list where that's concerned. Tell his friends he had a motorcycle accident (don't use the pirate thing, that's mine, and makes no sense when you're Orion's age) and he'll be king of the pig-pen. Frankly, I'd be more worried about what the other kids think of the creepy rat sculptures all over his house. And that damn Gurtie.