I’m not sure that Steve and I could be any more different in our parenting styles. But really, we are pretty opposite in personality, so that could have been predicted. I am high-strung and impatient, he is reasonable and level-headed. He is a planner, I am spontaneous. He is a worrier, I am a reactor.
Last week, Holden hit Brandon on the head with a toy train. I mean, Holden walked up to Brandon, his teeth bared, and smacked Brandon as hard as he could. It was cold-blooded. Here’s how we reacted. I screamed (of course), signaling Steve to come running in. I cuddled Brandon while Steve scolded Holden. I kissed Brandon on the head, then took Holden into his room to put him to bed. Steve stayed and looked after Brandon.
“Brandon’s head is bleeding!” Steve (I don’t want to say “squealed” here, but I don’t know what else to say) said in a panic.
“Did you see that?” he followed up.
“No,” I replied. “I kissed him on the head but I didn’t see anything.”
(I didn’t add that I also didn’t look for anything).
“Should we call the doctor?”
I put Holden in his crib and followed Steve’s voice. I checked out the blood (it was a drop) which Steve was blotting furiously with a Kleenex.
“The cut isn’t big enough for stitches, there’s nothing they will do,” I responded. “Plus, the doctor’s office is closed.”
“Should we take him to the hospital then?” Steve persisted.
“Do you know how much that will cost? And again, they won’t do anything,” I responded.
I left the scene, returned to Holden.
Steve continued to panic, but silently.
The next day I took the boys to Steve’s parents house. Steve’s mom asked me about Brandon’s head, because Steve had texted her about it. I told her it was fine and we both chuckled about how Steve overreacted.
But then a few days later, I completely lost my cool when the boys wouldn’t help me clean up. Steve reminded me they are two and four and I tried to bookmark that for future references when I freak out, because it will happen sooner than later.
“We couldn’t be more different as parents,” he said.
I agreed. It’s true. But maybe that’s not all too terrible. Our boys will grow into the men they are going to become despite it.
They might be the youngest boys to ever climb trees at Fontanelle Forest because I let them try when Steve would rather keep them right by his side.
They might take care of Steve and I in our old age with unparalleled care and attention because that is what Steve provided them when they needed it.
We might not be on the same page all the time, but at least Steve and I are in the same book. We are both taking care of our kids in the way that we think is best. We are both making sure they know they are loved and cared for, in our own variations. And isn’t variety the spice of life, anyway? Then my boys are like a nice and spicy homemade chili.