Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Just call me Mr. Sensitivity

Okay, okay. I've been remiss in keeping the two people who read my blog updated (my wife and my mom). Susan reads it to keep me honest and to make sure that I don't tell any embarrassing stories about her. My mom reads it because she knows how much I hate to talk on the phone.

First things first-running. Yes I have been . . . some, but not enough. I noticed the other day that the pants were starting to get a little snug again. I accused Susan of drying them too hot. She wouldn't buy it and I knew better. Going to be spending the summer trying to push back from the table. I have realized that I cannot hold myself accountable without a goal so I will be looking at the race calendar over the next year and try to get my butt in gear. I told MAC, my 12 year old step-daughter, that we would do a sprint triathlon next spring. That is some sort of commital, isn't it?

Life. It goes on. Too quickly sometimes. It seems that I have no time to do anything. I realize that I just have to take a deep breath, focus on priorities and take care of business.

Seems that E has become unfamiliar with her body. She is not old enough to doing the puberty thing or at least I hope she's not. Over the last week she has managed to inflict multiple injuries on her nine year old body. She has been running into things, scraping protruding joints, and adding to her collection of "boo boos" on a daily basis.

The latest episode was Monday evening. I was going for a run and E wanted to ride her bike with me which I encouraged. Afterall, exercise is so much better than watching the tube, right? She's been growing like a weed and her legs have been cramped on her bike. She asked me to raise the seat. I told her we only needed to adjust it a little at a time so she could get used to the difference. That was unacceptable so instead of arguing about it (Susan has done a good job in telling me about picking my battles) I raised the seat about 1 1/4 inches. Well . . . MAC and Susan decided to join us also. My nice little run was quickly turning into a family outing. Okay . . . I can deal with that. Of course the girls argue the whole time, but that's another story for another day. The girls asked if they can ride on ahead and we warn them about staying to the right hand side, to stop at all stop signs, and to not get out of sight. Okay, go. It was like they were shot out of a rifle-legs furiously pumping, bikes wobbling . . . whish-they were gone. Susan decided to pedal a little faster to catch up to them. Cool . . . I'm running and not parenting. That is until I round the bend at the bottom of the hill.

I don't recall if I saw the bike in the street or heard the bellowing first but regardless, I knew something was askew and my nice run was going to be transformed into social work. Now I know what my parents went through as I was growing up. I am still thankful that they chose to put up with me instead of drowning me! MAC was standing there saying "I didn't do anything!". E was laying on the side of the road next to her bike, alternating between screaming, sobbing, and blaming MAC. Susan was off her bike and trying to get information from E. For a brief moment I truly thought about running on past them and pretending like I didn't know them. However, the consequences of such an action would be horrific, similar to the shock and awe air-strikes of Bagdad. Okay . . . I'll be a parent, but on MY TERMS. I stop and ask . . . "what happened?" E screams, "Mary Alice made me fall off my bike!". MAC again pleads her case of innocense. My guess is that is was probably a little bit of both. "Okay. Calm down. Let me see." I have E hold up her hands. I say, "you're supposed to have ten fingers . . . looks like they're all there." Then I check the head- "two ears, two eyes, all the teeth you started with . . . look up" she turns her head up and down and side to side. "Good . . . now you know why we are so mean and MAKE you wear a helmit". "Two legs, two knees, two ankles, two feet, no blood." I then ask the question that always gets me in trouble-"So why are you crying?". "IT HURTS!!!" E yells. "Okay, calm down. Yeah, I do see some gravel and scrapes on the palm of your hand but not enough for that much crying."

She finally realizes that is about as much sympathy as she's going to get from me. I know we have to blame something or somebody to appease her anger, embarrassment, and pain. Aha! . . . I raised the seat. "E, it's probably my fault because I raised the seat too high" I volunteered, laying my pride and manhood on the alter of parenthood. She found this an acceptable sacrifice and the crying became more of a subtle whimper. "Okay . . . standup" I said. "But it hurts" she said. "Hmmmm. Well, you can stay here and hurt and maybe get run over or eaten by crows. Or you can buck up, take it to the house and hurt there. Regardless, you are going to hurt", I try to explain. It is at that time that I get THE LOOK. All family members, including the dogs, the cat, the hamster, know THE LOOK. Cool, now she can focus on her anger instead of the pain.

She gets up and trys to get on the bike. Whether she's scared or actually hurting, I don't know but it took her a couple of minutes to start pedaling. She and Susan pedal along at a very slow pace while MAC and I go on ahead and do another mile while Susan and E take it home. We go inside when we're done and I can't help but chuckle at the ice on the wrist and all the bruises and scrapes on E. I apologize to her and explain that it all part of being a kid and growing up. She settles down and we all sort of discuss and laugh about it. Susan serves dinner-Thai noodles and shrimp. Homemade. Let's see . . . authentic Thai food if pretty hot . . . . E takes a bite, sticks out her tongue and says "GREAT, now I have a boo boo on my tongue!!!"

We'll see what adventures await us when we go for a run this afternoon.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Aunt Susan here, another one of your readers. And all I can say is just wait until the teenage years get here. Can't wait to read those blogs.

Anonymous said...

So, little people and big hurts and that is part of growing up. Seems I remember you diving into the shallow end of a pool and having to have stitches in your nose and diving into creeks into the wrong places (rocks) and getting chased by very large bulls while hunting for deer and swinging from a trapeze into trees, cutting tees and leaving them standing and waiting to see when they would fall- getting truck wedged in between trees and this is only a small part when you were in your teens--the other horrific times when you were younger, I have blotted from my mind for the sake of sanity. Parenthood is a time of learing what your parents went through. Hey, ain't life grand?

courtne450 said...

Great job in handling the situation... You're really are doing a great job as a dad. I'm proud of you Jimmy. It's tough isn't it... when the're trying to get sympathy from you and you know it just isn't gonna happen. Lexie does that all the time. Just remember though that little girls are delicate and sometimes don't take pain as well as boys. Lexie always need reassurance, and maybe I give it to her more because of the guilt I'm feeling over the whole split family thing...but, anyway... like I said, you're a good dad and doing a great job!!
Love you...