As I said in the previous post, I am doing the same idea for Braden as I am for Kailey. I am doing 100 posts on 100 things I want to teach each of my children. Naturally, I want to teach both of them the same important facts of life. But for the sake of this blog I will mix it up a bit and leave each of them with similiar yet different pieces of advice.
100. Those who are able to laugh at themselves and at the rest of the world equally outlive us all.
Pretty self explanitory I think. One of the most important lesson’s I actually have been teaching Braden since the day he could understand the relevance of laughter.
Being able to laugh at yourself show’s the maturity of that individual. We started teaching Braden this lesson WAY back. Right back to the beginning, when he stared his very first physiotherapy program when he left the hospital. I remember wanting to send Braden to SickChildren’s Hospital, once he was diagnosed with the Spinal Cord Injury I wanted him to go where I felt he would best be looked after. I kinda figured, Sick Kids was my hospital..they did a great job with me, maybe Braden would be better off there.
The medical staff reassurred me that Braden would be a big fish in this little pond at MacMaster and if sent to Sick Kids he would be a little fish in a big pond. Meaning…they have seen all kinds of things at Sick Kids and that Braden’s needs wouldn’t be necessarily a top priority. NOT that Sick Kids wouldn’t have done a wonderful job cause in my eyes they are the best…but I did understand what MacMaster was saying and we then agreed to keep him right where he was.
With being in a smaller hospital…it left Paul and I with the chance to be more involved with Braden’s care. We had to dive in and get hands on really quick. We became part of his rehabilitation routines, working with all the medical staff to help get our son healthy again.
Well…the best way to get a 2 year old to do something they don’t want to do..is with laugher. We broke out all the funnies we could. Talk about becoming comedians…quick work on our end.
It really wasn’t easy, he was 2…and he didn’t want us telling him what to do, not alone tell him to do things that were NOT fun in any way.
Challenge, is one word that described a good 3 years…
I will have to say it was probably my dad who stared the “sillies” in the hospital room. For whatever reason Braden really responded to someone inflicting pain on themselves. Slapstick humor. My dad would literally “pretend” to bang his head on things in the room and Braden would die with laughter. He LOVED it.
Braden would mimic papa and pretend to do the same kind of “physical harm” joking…sounds sick, I know, but we’d all laugh and pretend he was hilarious(well in all honesty, we didn’t need to pretend, cause he was funny. His laugh alone made us beam with pride and laugh with love). This then taught him to laugh at himself, he loved to make us laugh and our reaction fired him up. I do remember wondering if all this was healthy and of course through the years we banged into those idiots who “looked” to deeply into this humor and felt it was inappropriate…lol…whatever!
Anyways, thats how we managed to get Braden to learn how to laugh at himself. We’d make his “workout” fun. There was a fine line between laughing with him, or laughing at him (something we NEVER did)…
So when you are trying to get a young child of 2 to understand that his left arm isn’t fuctioning normally but keep trying to “make it work”, the best way to do that is through humor. We named his left hand “baby hand” and his right hand “dinosaur hand”..well actully Braden named them that, baby hand didn’t work so it was like a baby. Dinosaur hand did work and it had more power..therefore a dinosaur. We made fun games with those, and when baby hand didn’t “work” we learned to laugh at some situations related to “baby hand”….Braden had fun with it as well…it was our beginning to teaching him its ok to laugh at yourself, don’t take things so seriously.
We have had ups and downs in this department. He natually went through difficult stages in different times in his life and sometimes laughter wasn’t appropriate. SO we laughed at others…and that too is another story..and probably one that once again my dad started~
I love us….I really do*