As a parent, we often have to pretend not to be worried in front of our children. You know what I mean. Like when the doctor tells you they hear something that is not quite right with your child’s heart. You can not stand there and crumble into pieces. You have to be brave, find out facts, and wait patiently to figure things out. Then, you can also have your child distract you with a major reaction to a vaccine that they had the same day. Yes, that is the way it goes. You move from one worry to another and just keep swimming until you get more answers.
I often joke that this summer is filled with a lot of doctor visits. The first major one was when I had to take JSL to see the cardiologist. I was rather quiet about this leading up to the appointment. Was I worried and scared? Yes, but I also know that many children and adults have innocent murmurs that doctors detect. When we went, I explained to JSL what they would be doing. The EKG was rather traumatic to him. He was not scared of the test itself, the location and window next to him got him very upset. He did fantastic when it was time for the chest x-rays. You would have thought that JSL had done this before.
Then it was time to sit in the exam room to see the doctor. He was fantastic and listened to why we were there. Next, he listened to JSL’s heart and lungs. Seconds later, he told us that we had nothing to worry about. The murmur was innocent, had nothing to do with his heart valves, and no further testing is needed.
Of course, this visit really seemed to take a lot out on JSL. That afternoon he had a dentist appointment. Much to my surprise everything was a struggle. X-rays caused him to gag. He was beyond upset with the water spray during his cleaning and more. Thank goodness our pediatric dentist office is amazing and understood it had been a long day for everyone. After a quick stop at the craft store and the bakery, we made our way home. Just as I was about to pull into the driveway, I looked back and saw my little parrot sleeping.
That day is over, but my parental worries still there for other items on our plate. I hide them well from the boys, but sometimes I think they can read me too well.
How do you mask times when you are stressed and worried so your children do not pick up on them if it involves them?
I got a lot of practice before kids with my dogs. Same schtick, you have to pretend, and convincingly project, that everything is cool and you’re competent to handle it. Works okay til they hit the teen years!
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