8.29.2013

Calling in the Cavalry

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At the risk of sounding unsympathetic and harsh, I'd like to share a little story with you.

It's day 11 of the new school year, and I get a call from the clinic that my precious youngest is not feeling well.

"She has a very slight fever, not enough for us to have to send her home, but she says she's been coughing a bunch and doesn't feel well," says the clinic nurse.

Precious and I have a brief discussion about the possibilities of her sticking it out since there are only 2 hours left in the day. She assures me she simply cannot carry on. I fetch her, not because I think she can't make it through the day, but because a point needs to be made.

"I was coughing NON-STOP," says she. "I have a cold!"

"I am aware of the cold, and I know they are not fun," say I. "What did you do to stop the coughing?"

"I went to the clinic," says she.

"Well, it obviously worked BECAUSE YOU HAVEN'T COUGHED ONCE SINCE I PICKED YOU UP."

Now, when my kids are sick, I am quite nurturing. I make homemade chicken noodle soup. I rent tons of movies. I fluff their pillows and give them decongestants and Dr. Pepper and candy and all that stuff. But seriously. It's a runny nose. Power through.

So then we had a discussion about first-line solutions, like drinking ice water, blowing your nose, and having a cough drop to see if that will shape things up. Also about how coughing so-very-rarely kills an otherwise healthy human being, and how if she calls me again for anything other than essentially bleeding from her ears ... well, you get the point.

I think many of the problems in our lives, whether at work or at home, could be solved (or avoided altogether) if we didn't hit the panic button quite so quickly. I believe we have become so accustomed to the immediacy of our 24-hour-social-media-and-Google-search world that when we can't fix a problem right that second we sound the alarm bells and call for backup.

I'm trying to teach my kids that a deep breath and 5 minutes of thinking time will give you the tools solve most issues without dialing 911. That many times problems are only problems because you make them so much more complex than they really are. And that the sense of accomplishment of figuring out things on your own is so much more satisfying than calling in the cavalry.

Especially if your particular cavalry helps you get better with extra rest and a ban on electronics for 24 hours.

I swear to you it's a miracle cure, people.

XO --
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