They don't give you a book when you have a kid. My manual for Photoshop is the size of my head, but for a child? Nothing. Nada. Not even an online Help resource. I can't look up "Training Wheels" in the Index, flip to page I-187, and read, "Training wheels should be left on the child's bicycle for no longer than x weeks, but no less than y days." There is no Chapter entitled, "The Various Bugs that Will Stick Themselves to Your Child." So, when Sam has a tick (and he's had three in the last few months), we're calling every relative we can get a hold of to find out what to do.
Now, I've been a parent for nigh on 6 years, and I feel like I'm doing ok. I have my bad moments, some good ones, too. I think my kids are turning out ok - that I'm not screwing them up too bad. Yes, I let my 5 year old son (and, for that matter, my 2 year old daughter) watch The Incredibles, despite what www.youreabadparentifyouletyourkidswatchthismovie.com said about it. Violence! Suggestivness! Bad guys get beat up! Your children will imitate what they see! Well, I haven't seen Sam try to pick up the family car yet, despite how much he likes Mr. Incredible, or stick a tack on his teachers chair, despite how much he idolizes Dash. So, I think we're coming out ok.
I digress. Sam has been riding his bike a lot - something you couldn't pay him to do a year ago. He's keen on getting the training wheels off and I can't decide if he actually needs them on for a while longer, or if it's just the dad in me that wants him to not grow up yet.
I was reminded yesterday of an incident we had with him when he just little - probably a smidge over a year old. He was sick - real sick. Puking his guts out, fever, the whole bit. You know. Now, keep in mind that I was all of 23 and Janna was 24. Talk about being completely unprepared for a situation. We had no idea what to do.
In the middle of the night, he woke up and was much, much worse. He was stark white. Printer paper white. WordPad background white. We brought him into the bathroom, and Janna was sitting on the toilet with him in her lap. Sam, who had been falling in and out of sleep, opened his eyes just a little, pointed his finger, and said, "Mommy, look - an angel." Janna lost what composure she had at that point and started sobbing, completely believing that our son was dying. I was on the verge (I think I was just a little slower on the uptake than her, or I would have freaked out, too) of doing the same. Had we had the manual, we would have flipped to the index, looked up "Angel Sightings," turned to page II-134, and read, "When your sick child sees an angel, make sure that he/she is not simply pointing to a piece of artwork you have on the bathroom wall before losing your mind." See, that would have saved us a lot of grief. But, no, we freaked out, and then
we saw the angel on the wall that he was pointing to. Ha. Easy to laugh at now, right?
I guess all parenting is On the Job Training. Unfortunately for Sam, his role is that of guinea pig. We get most of our screw-ups out of the way at his expense. I guess that's what they have professional therapists for, right?
Anybody know when the Training Wheels should come off?