Thursday, May 12, 2011

Too much slack in the rope?

Good morning! Well, two days ago I left you in the lurch. Hanging over all of our heads was a mysteriously broken foot and I am sure the suspense had you as covered in hives as Graham.

First, Graham. Well, the boy is hivey. We don't know why. He just is. It all started on Monday evening. Since then he has been on a routine of benedryl at night and Zyrtec during the day. The has kept his condition under relative control. When it comes to allergies, Graham has always been our itchy star. If you look back over the years you will find that this time of year has brought him a bevy of conditions. Whether asthma like symptoms or something like this, he has always been our sniffly springtime fixture.

He may look blotchedy and with the exception of some itchiness, the good news is that he seems to be just fine.

Ah, the broken foot. Sydney is our culprit here. Would it surprise you that it had to do with Tae Kwon Do? Yes, it was a violent Tae Kwon Do injury. But, before you start chastising me for having that sweet little girl in such a violent sport or telling all of your friends to keep their kids out of martial arts, just dial it back a bit. First, it turns out her foot is not broken. It is swollen. There is a big nasty bruise and I am quite sure that it hurts quite a bit. I feel sorry for her for that - I do.

But, that is where my soft, supportive Daddy feelings end. The only reason the hipster doofus got injured was because she was not wearing her pads - as she was (and always has been) required to. You see, for some reason, Sydney decided that it was not cool to wear her instep pads. Be them not cool, not comfortable, or whatever her rationale was this time, the pads were forgone.


In the process, she learned why she should wear them.

You ask me, lesson learned.

I know that sounds harsh. And, if I am being honest, I do feel a bit guilty. I mean, I don't want her to be hurt and her safety is ultimately my responsibility. But, at some point, she just has to do what she is told. At the age of 9 (almost 10) it seems she should know that she should be wearing her pads when sparring - especially if she has been told to do so. Am I still supposed to be giving her a full body check every time she steps on the mat? At what point am I doing her a disservice by coddling her too much. At some point she has to learn.

This reminds me of a famous Bill Cosby skit where he is describing his kiddos bathroom routine and the fact that he didn't only have to remind them to take a shower but that he also had to remind them to actually turn on the water once they were there. Then, as if that was not enough, if you have any hopes of them being clean it was also necessary to remind them to use soap.

It seems it is the same thing with pads if you have any hope of keeping your kids from being injured. Sydney did you remember to put on your gear? Did you put on your arm guards? What about your shin guards? Do you have your chest gear? Is it on? What about your helmet? Your mouthpiece? Is it in your mouth? Ah, what about your instep pads?

At what point do you stop? At what point do you stop coddling them so that they learn?

Purpose isn't always about protecting them at some point it has also got to be about giving them some rope to learn about reality.

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