I took Oliver to the doctor a few weeks ago, for his 4-year-old check-up, even though he is 4 1/2.
He measured on the small end (about 25th percentile in weight and height), but that’s not why he is the cutest little human ever. He’s the cutest because of the way he did his eye test. The doctor, not knowing how proficient he is with his numbers and letters, gave him the picture test. And each time she asked what he saw he would say something like: “Well, to me, I would say it looks like a circle that is not filled in.” Or, “To me, it looks like a tiny star.” (Or just a star, or a little star, depending on the size of the star.)
I just about died every time I heard his little voice say, “Well, to me, I would say . . . ” Adorable, right?
He also got a couple of shots, which he was very anxious about. Still, he was very brave and didn’t complain or fight it. He cried a bit afterwards, but was pleased with the band-aids.
Later that night we had Family Home Evening. The lesson was something about being brave, so we talked about what that means and whether or not we could be brave too. Well, little Oliver said that he thought he wasn’t very brave because he cried after he got his shots.
My heart dropped a bit because I’m pretty sure he learned that tears = not brave from all the times we’ve told him that he’s so brave and tough and he doesn’t need to cry when he gets hurt. But we talked about that too, and about how he was super brave because even though he was nervous about the shots he didn’t fight it or anything, and he only cried because he was hurt.
(I definitely think we’re sending mixed messages about tears, but at least now we’re aware of the problem.)
And that, my friends, is why Oliver is the cutest, bravest little human. Am I right?