Now that Gus is in preschool, his wounds tend to be more of the emotional variety. But because he is slightly prone to anxiety (can't imagine who pushed that gene into the kiddy pool), and because I don't have any better ideas, I've been defaulting to the same "You're fine! A little blood never killed anyone." response.
Evening at our house in EAST NASHVILLE. GUS is throwing a fit.
“But I want to go upstairs and play bass with Daddy and Mr. Neil!”
“It’s Man Night for Daddy. And bedtime for you.”
“I don’t like you, Mom! You’re stupid! I want to be with Daddy! I love Daddy.”
“I love Daddy, too. That’s why he’s up there playing the guitar with his friend, and you’re down here in a gentle headlock.”
“I’m going to spank you, Mom! I read about it, and I know how to do it, and it’s going to hurt really really much! Then I’m going to eat you up!”
“Gus. Those are very mean words. I don’t know who talks like that at school but …”
“Everyone! Everyone does!”
“Everyone? Well, maybe I should take you out of there …”
“You should take all my friends out of there!”
“Well, I can’t take all your friends out ... "
“Well you should take all my friends. I’m mad at them because no one wanted to play with me today.”
“I was playing Check-Up with Meredith, and then Connor said he didn’t want to play with me, and Meredith wouldn’t play with me, and I’m very, very mad!”
“Well, I don't blame you for being mad, but you know what, Gus?”
“Sometimes your friends aren’t going to want to play with you. I know it stinks. And it hurts your feelings, but we all have those days where no one wants to play with us. And it’s not such a big deal. Tomorrow I bet your friends will want to play with you.”
He considered this.
“Well, Paige did say she would play with me the day that comes after today.”
“Yeah. She did say that ... But I don’t like when no one wants to play with me today."
“No one likes it. But it’s really okay. Your friends still love you.”
“I love you, Mom.”
Even longer pause.
“I love you, too, Gus.”
“I feel better now.”
“I’m so glad.”
“I really do. You said just the right thing.”