Gentle Reality

That’s what we call it.  It is our approach to introducing our children to the real world.  I have my opinions on the ‘everyone is always a winner’ approach…I’m not a fan.  Do not confuse that statement and think that I don’t appreciate the ‘just for fun’ sports, I totally appreciate them.  At the ages my kids are, I just want them to have fun and experience a variety of activities so that they can find what they love…be it sports, music, or art.  That being said, I also want to instill a bit of fire in them…I want them to want to be good at what they love…to work hard at it, but enjoy the work. 

On with my point…many of you know that I have a SUPER picky eater…he is also on the thin side…the very thin side.  The grandmothers worry themselves to death over it.  I even went through a phase where I was pumping milkshakes in him to beef him up (for the record it didn’t work) and was weighing him frequently.  I gave myself a mental slap across the face, and stopped.  I was getting so worked up about his weight that I was going to end up giving him a complex.  Also, know that I discussed his eating habits, weight, and growth regularly with his pediatrician…she reassured me that he was growing fine.  Looking back at pictures of myself, I was a freakishly skinny child (I know, what happened?!?)…and I ate just about anything you put in front of me.  I am laying a foundation here…bear with me. 

The other night, after dinner, the boys decided to arm wrestle.  These are normal activities in a house dominated by testosterone.  So, the boys were taking turns with each other.  When it came time for E & L to ‘get down’…E got a dose of not-so gentle reality.  L is freakishly strong for his size…always has been.  He pulled himself up to stand in the bassinet when he was three months old (yes, really…no, I was not hallucinating…yes, I had a witness).  So, when E squared up with L, who is 2 years younger…it was pretty quick…and E did not come out on top.  I used this as an opportunity to highlight the fact that L eats a variety of foods…that help him build strong muscles.  Gentle reality.  L is quite the little consumer of protein.  He loves veggies.  E, not so much.  I did not take the “well, you lost because…” I try to keep it positive.  I don’t want to tear them down…I want to build them up.

So, did my gentle reality work?  Maybe.  I do know that the not-so gentle reality made an impact.  As I was sweeping the floor, I caught a glimpse of E in the living room doing push-ups.  He didn’t notice that I spied what he was doing.  He did not like being defeated by his little brother.  I don’t want to damage their little personas, but they do need to know that they can’t always win.  They don’t always need such harsh reality examples, but gentle ones…over time…I think those may work.  

Today’s secret revealed…I was absolutely stunned that E was doing push-ups to build up strength.  I mean, of course it makes sense…but couldn’t believe he was on it as quickly as he was.  I feel a rematch coming on.


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