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Life Is A Lawnmower

School Nurse Version

Every generation learns from the mistakes of the earlier generation and life for our children gets better and better each generation forward as they learn not to do things that cause pain and emotional discomfort. Yeah! Right! In a perfect world. Life is a Lawnmower.

Why do our children do the same, stupid things we did when we were kids?

We shout with all our might, “No! Don’t do it!” And they do it anyway. “Don’t step in that!” Then, “squish!” “Don’t touch that!” Then, “burn!” “Don’t eat that!” Then, “hospital!” We tell them that the outcome of their decision WILL involve pain and suffering. Do you know what’s sad? Sometimes the children do what we tell them not to do BECAUSE we are doing what we are telling our children not to do.

I am a school nurse and have noticed one thing that is almost universal: chubby kids have chubby parents (in general). No, now please don’t think I am poking fun. No way! I am simply reporting a finding that seems to be common place. The parents will know…first hand…the stress of living in an out-of-shape, overweight body and pray that their “little bundle” will not have to suffer the same. Parenting (nor school-nursing) should not be “do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do.” If you, the parent, don’t put down that Twinkie or doughnut then how can you expect your child to?

A little girl in my office says, “Nurse Kevin, my mommy and daddy smoke.”

I asked her, “Are you going to smoke one day?”

The child paused and looked up as if taking a moment to contemplate, “Maybe not.”

“Maybe not?!” What kind of answer is that? In 2017, cigarettes and smokeless tobacco companies spent about $1 million every hour to convince little people like this girl in my office that she should smoke. But NOTHING is more powerful than a smoking mamma or a smoking daddy to convince a young child to pick up the habit that WILL (no doubt) cause the child to DIE sooner than otherwise. And these same parents would declare, “I’d do anything for my kids!” Would you? For real?

My daughter, a woman of 27 and now with children of her own, has told me why she took directions in her life despite my warnings. “Daddy, sometimes I just have to experience things for myself.” To be honest, this makes a lot of sense. How will the child know what hot is if he or she never feels “hot” for themselves? Learning “hot” is a good thing. But consider this, is being consumed by the fire good to “experience?” (Sorry Daughter)

This same daughter calls one day and asks, “My tomatoes aren’t doing well. Do you have any pointers?”

“Tomatoes?! Since when did you start growing a garden?” I was dumbfounded.

She HATED working out in the garden with me when she was younger. But, I never pressed it. I never suggested that she was lazy or anything like that. She’d be out in the heat with me and as soon as a single bead of sweat formed on her brow, “Daddy, it’s hot. Can I be done now?”

I’d never wanted her to feel “pressed” into doing what I enjoyed sowhaazy or anything

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