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the eric update - day 830: Odin, The Stoic.

the morning started like any other, with much running around, jumping and chasing of the kitty while i got ready for work. and then the sudden and not terribly unusual THUD! that means he's taken a tumble, followed by the also not terribly unusual brief fit of crying. so, i walked over to ask him where it hurts, not expecting to see BLOOD! ALL OVER HIS FACE! in the end, he had split his lip open, which is not The End of The World, but it turned big and fat within minutes and looked quite painful.

as we wiped him clean and macgyvered a frozen bag of peas to act as a cold compress, he repeatedly exclaimed between sniffles, "all. better. odin, all right. " and "peas. make odin better." if it were me, i'd have been sulking for hours, but within five minutes, odin was back to his usual routine, while still occasionally hollering, "ALL! BETTER!" as he ran from room to room.

the thing that's odd is that i can't really say that we try to encourage his stoicism, and we're actually both quick to let him know that it's completely fine to express his emotions when he's hurt. if fact, we'd probably be a little happier if he didn't seem insistent on so quickly proving to us that he's able to buck up.

the part of me that loves to over analyze things, wonders if somehow despite our best efforts, we're subtly and unintentionally reinforcing old cultural stereotypes about what it means to be "a man". maybe it's not just us, since it's not usual for people to comment on what a "tough guy" he is, if he happens to nonchalantly brush off what might otherwise be a traumatic tumble.

or perhaps, sometimes kids are just born stoics.

nature or nurture?

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10/11/2006 11:13:00 PM 3 comments


Nature all the way. I have twins girls who basically have the exact same life experiences. One is bounces back without missing a beat and one drones on and on about the slightest thing.

By Blogger Sandi, at 11:59 PM  

Some of it is inborn pain tolerance as well. My oldest son never cried for any of his shots and watched in fascination while the nurse took his blood for the 9 month checkup. When he says something hurts we head right to the doc because it's usually serious!

If Odin does have a high pain tolerance, I wonder if that helped him do so well in the NICU. Less pain = less stress = more energy spent healing and growing.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:33 AM  

In light of everything this little one has already been through in life a smashed lip is probably nothing. Echoing what the previous poster said, perhaps he built up a high pain tolerance in the NICU.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:14 PM  

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[ rhetoric ]

"it is hard to be brave," said piglet, sniffing slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal." rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: "it is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us."

the complete tales & poems of winnie the pooh

[ about ]

this site chronicles the continuing adventures of my son, odin, who was unexpectedly born on the fourth of july at 25 weeks gestation, weighing 1 pound 7 ounces.

he's quite a fighter and you can always send him a postcard to the most current address listed here if you're inspired by his adventures. see the postcard project/google maps mashup to see a map of the postcards.

if you're new, you can browse the archives to catch up. and don't forget to watch a few movies that i made while we were in the neonatal intensive care unit. or if you want the abridged version and you can find a copy, you can read about his adventures in the november 2005 issue of parents magazine.

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