Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Italia Rules! & I'm a Man!

I was in the bathroom with my 1st grader and he asked if my tattoo could be erased, I told it was permanent. He asked what it was, I told him it is rumored to be a caveman drawing of a man from a ring at Stonehenge. He pointed to the inside of my forearm and said, "You should get ITALIA RULES right there." I started cracking up and he got upset asking, "Why are you laughing at me?" I told him I was not laughing at him but that comment was so "him" (seeing how he is so into being Italian even though he is only half Italian) that it made me happy because I thought it was cute. He did not like being thought of as cute anymore than being laughed at.


A few weeks ago we went for a family bike ride. My 4th grader gets nervous a lot, and riding a bike is no different, he gets so worried that he is going to run into pedestrians that he has crashed rather than just going around them. We all wear helmets, but I also have him kitted out with knee and elbow pads, under his clothes so as not to embarrass him, so he can shake off any minor spills and get right back to riding. His anxiety often winds up having my wife and I splitting up on bike rides, she goes ahead with our overconfident type A 1st grader and I lag back with my little neurotic indie/emo/proto-goth boy.

After a ride around the local park we are heading home, the grown ups ride on the street and the kids are on the sidewalk, and a few blocks from our house our 1st grader takes a bad spill due to a broken sidewalk. My wife rushes to his aid and I stop and look back to make sure everything is okay. He looks shook up and about to burst into tears, my wife mentions something about medicine, and he focuses for a quick second and angrily yells out, "I don't need medicine I'M A MAN!" and jumps back on the bike and starts riding again.

I have never told him that men do not need medicine ... though I am sure I have implied it is better to not dwell on bumps and bruises and to dust yourself off and keep on going. I wonder if he is reacting to my trying to keep his brother from going into full melt down mood when he gets flustered? Children can have very different reactions to being raised in the same households, shows the strength of the nature part of the nature v nurture equation.

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