Men tend to be great seekers of knowledge. Most men, men with a little age on them that have lost the rashness of their youth, like to have some knowledge before they act. They don’t like to run into the middle of a situation and start taking action without understanding exactly whats going on first. Now absent of knowledge men will try to pickup on the demeanor of others to gauge the situation.
Dads, I’m here to tell you from personal experience when you are dealing with your kids throw all that out of the window. You better have some general plans of action ready and when the need arises go with them no matter what is going on around you. You can’t get the knowledge you need fast enough and those around you will act the complete opposite from what they should be.
Case in point occurred here just a little while ago. Bubba, the middle child informed us his tummy hurt and he wanted to lay down. Since it was before dinner it seemed a little odd but I hear this from him once or twice a week and it is generally resolved shortly simply by laying down. I had a little work to do while the oldest son ate his dinner and my wife fed the baby. I checked on the middle son and told him when he felt better his dinner was ready. When my wife was done feeding the baby she brought him in my office so I could watch him while she took a bath. Everything is normal up til now.
No sooner had she closed the door and gotten into the tub did the oldest walked up behind me and calmly informed me that his brother was throwing up. I turned around and asked what he said and he told me again and pointed into the other room. Thinking the middle son was still in his room I got up and walked out of my office to check on him. He wasn’t in his room, he was on the couch in the den with a little vomit on his shirt and some on the couch. At this point, given the calm way I was informed of the situation and the low volume of vomit involved I figured no big deal.
Man, was I wrong! Instead of walking into the bathroom and getting a towel for him I should have grabbed him and moved him into the bathroom right away. I figured he was OK, just a little vomit, what’s the harm? No point is scaring him by over-reacting right? All the knowledge I had from what I had seen and heard failed me. Just as I got to him it started coming out for real. I caught most of it with my hand and the towel. He stopped and looked at me, I thought is was over. Nope, again, this time more. I turn to the oldest and said “get your mother now.”
The calm, no big deal situation had spiraled out of my control in a flash. Now the mind began to really assess what was going on and told me to move him. As we struggled into the bathroom, trying to not to make a mess and hoping he didn’t need to throw up again, I passed my wife and told her there was a mess in there. The oldest of course showed her where the damage was in his usual calm manner.
Once we got the middle child to stop throwing up he got a nice bath and started feeling better. Not good enough to eat or play mind you, but just not throwing up anymore. With the room cleaned up and the child settled down I started to run the whole thing back to see where I had gone wrong. Obviously, it was in not acting immediately once I heard the words “throwing up”. I should have jumped into action, grabbed him and moved him to the bathroom where the whole thing could have been contained.
The lesson here is don’t assume you need to know what’s going on in order to act. Have your plan in your back pocket and pull it out at the first sign of trouble. You will thank yourself later on.