Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rising to Expectations

My baby boy has had three ear infections in two months. When we took him back for the follow-up for his last ear infection, he didn't really have an infection, but one ear was on the road to infection with tons of pus. Somehow, he failed to get the message that babies who don't go to daycare and are breastfed shouldn't get ear infections! It's those genes he got from his dad's side. The shape of his inner-ear is just prone to infection. Sigh.

Anyway, he's had to have three shots in the last three days. As the nurse was coming into the room to give him his shot today, she came in saying, "Well, I'm the bearer of bad news. You're not going to like me. This is going to set you off and you won't like coming here anymore." Me: "He's actually just cried for a few seconds the last few days, and then been fine once I've held him." The nurse: "Well, we'll see. Those little legs are so tender." I held baby boy's hands while the nurse administered the shot. He made a terrible little frown, teared up with a red face, screamed three short screams, and then took a deep breath through his nose as I gave him his paci and I picked him up. Fine.

Granted, the nurse sees babies and big kids all day every day who scream as if being stabbed to death, but I feel bad that she expects kids to fall apart as they have to go through the necessaries to be well. From the way she comes in talking to them, no wonder they scream at her! Similarly, I don't like hearing people say, "Just wait until they're teenagers" or since I had three girls first, "You'll see what boys are like." Yes, shots hurt, but our approach has always been to say to our children, "This shot will hurt for a minute, but then it will get better and it will keep you from getting very sick." Our oldest, who is very tender-hearted, does not cry the least little bit with a shot. Our second, cries hard, but then is told to "get it together, be tough, she's okay," and she does suck it up. Yes, adolescence will be full of hormones and new experiences with dating and preparing for future independence. Yes, boys are different from girls, but it will never be an acceptable excuse for bad behavior. Our standard is now and will always be God's standard. I trust that good teenagers are trained now, and I put it in God's hands to save my children, give them pure hearts, and that their lives be reflections of their purity of heart.

Have you sometimes noticed how kids will be better for teachers than they will be for their parents? I think it may have to do with the expectations the teachers put on them. I saw the reverse once in a church we served when my daughter was 18 months or so. Her Sunday School teacher said that she whined for the things she wanted, thinking she musn't have been trained to ask with "please". Once I told the teacher to not give her anything when she whined, my daughter stopped the whining and began treating her teacher with the same respect she was expected to show at home.

I've got to hold the standard high and fully expect my children to rise to meet it.

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