From the mouth of Miles

As I'm struggling to get Miles to put his own pants on, I give in to help him and get him OUT THE DOOR (I love him dearly, but he's three and a half right now.) I'm sitting on the floor and he puts his arms around my neck while whining and fussing because I'm trying to wriggle his little legs into his pants.

So I try to lighten the mood,

"Thank you for the hug, sweetie."

To which he responds, "I'm not hugging you, I'm just holding on to you."

He spills milk down his leg and commands the dog to lick it off.

"TIA!! RIGHT HERE! GET THIS!!!" (over and over and over.)

Ryan asks him to go get a towel and clean his leg off himself.

Miles says, "But Tia has better equipment."

Ryan - "What do you mean?"

Miles - "Better licking equipment."
Me- "I love you no matter what you do. Yes, I still love you if you yell at me." (reassuring him after a battle that leaves him asking if we're okay.) "Remember when I yelled at you? You still loved me right?"

Miles - "No."

Me - "Oh."

Miles - "Mommy, I'm just joking. I love you even when you scream."

Me - (laughing) "Good, I'm glad."
(I have no idea what he could possibly be talking about, by the way.)
I asked Miles if he'd like to visit Asher in the hospital after his surgery. He quickly said NO!, so I asked if he knows why he doesn't want to go.

(No, we've never explained exactly what "surgery" means. We're vague, saying things like "Asher has a problem with his head and the doctors are going to fix it.")

He said he didn't want to go because he doesn't like those places and, "what if Asher's head is off or something?"

"Oh, honey. His head won't be off. He'll just be in a bed. We wouldn't have you come until he was ready to see you."

"I'm not going. I'm staying here with Nanny and Auntie Shelly."

Sigh...This is one of the bazillion tricky parenting issues. The kind that just leap into the picture, unexpected and uninvited. I've been wondering how to handle the whole hospital thing with Miles, wanting to make sure he's not excluded and yet not wanting to totally freak him out.

Are you ready for a moment in my stream of consciousness? Okay then:
Maybe it would be good for him to see him after he wakes up or maybe before he goes to surgery but before surgery would really be no different than now because it might be good for him to know something serious is going on so he takes care of his brother rather than pushing him over or laying on his head and bouncing...yeah, but I don't want to traumatize him either and have him nervous and uncomfortable because he does get that way but we could talk about it a lot since that would help and kids do need to see the reality of life sometimes even if it's not fun and even if they don't want to but he is only three...I don't know...

Is it cruel for me to ask what you would do? Even if I'm risking a few different opinions, I think you guys are smart, so have at it. (picture me ducking.)
We go to Asher's pre-op appointment today, to find out if he's healthy enough for surgery on Wednesday. His cold-like symptoms are currently gone so we're hopeful! Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!

Boy, I sure know how to turn a light, fun post into a downer. Sheesh...

31 clicked right here to comment:

K and/or K said...

Hospitals make me ill, physically. Maybe if I was exposed when I was younger I could visit people today!

LisAway said...

What a funny little precocious boy! Licking equipment and teasing that he didn't love you after you yelled at him, which you never did, of course. It was more of a hypothetical phrased as if it had already happened. I understand that.

And I don't know what I would do about the visiting Asher. Maybe I would not talk about it much at all, just like you have, and then take him to the hospital without talking about it, just when you get there saying "We're going to visit Asher! I bet he's been missing us!" and have a toy or treat for him to give Asher (maybe he could even pick one out? But then you have to talk about it more beforehand. . .)

That's a hard one. Good thing you have lots of smart mommy readers!

Mommy Madness said...

Love the licking equipment dog.Your little boy sounds like he is too cute for words.☺

The hospital visit sounds pretty tricky. Wonder if there is a story book about hospitals that you could read to him. I think that having him pick out a toy/gift to give to his brother is a good idea.

Hope everything goes well today!♥

minnesotamom said...

Oh, Miles. He always gives me a good laugh.

If it were me, I would probably take him in to see Asher after he's more "with it" post-surgery, saying "Asher wants to see his big brother." And by seeing that he's going to be okay but that it is a serious issue, he might be more helpful with him and less rough, as you suggested. Plus, I'm sure Asher really would like to see his big brother! It will help him have a little normalcy in his life.

MidnightCafe said...

Heather, I would definitely take Miles to the hospital. I think you're on to something when you talk about how it might build empathy for Asher and help Miles understand about being gentle with him. I also think that it can be hard for kids when they know something is going on but they don't understand what it is. I'd explain it as simply as I could and then take him to visit. You could help him bring a special toy or treat for Asher, as was mentioned...and maybe do something special for Miles for being such a great big brother.

The Three 22nds said...

Hope everything goes well today, Heather!

I think kids that age are just starting to be scared of what they don't know. My kids didn't want to go to a parade, but only because they really didn't get it.

I would definitely bring him- but only after Asher is not too groggy, as the other commenters have said.

Also, you will have a chance to be at the hospital and see what they have. I am sure they have a DVD player or something, so maybe Miles could bring a DVD with to watch in a "special" hospital TV. Also, the hospital has some neat toys/things to look at in the waiting room. If you described those things to him AND you get to see your brother, he may be begging you to go!

Sara@ Butterville said...

I get I'm in the boat of let him decide if he wants to see Asher. He has fears...(What if his heads off?) Bring him in when he will reconize Asher. Does that make sense? So I am guessing I won't be seeing you Sat? And that's ok. I will be thinking about you!

Brooke said...

I think I would take him to the hospital too. Maybe he could give Asher a good laugh! He certainly has given me one. Good luck today!

Erin said...

I would suggest taking Miles to the store to pick out a special toy to bring Asher to the hospital. That way, Miles feels like he has something special to bring him, and a special reason to go to the hospital (it might even make him a tad bit excited to go).

Oh, and the only way I get my kids to dress themselves these days is to say, "Let's see if you can get your clothes on in less than two minutes. GO!!" Works every time.

Jillene said...

I think you should take him. I agree with all of the others to let him pick out a toy or book to give to Asher. I think that knowing is good even if they are young. Maybe then he will empathize with Asher and his condition and be more cautious and gentle.

Abra said...

I love reading what your little guy has to say! It's always so insightful!
Good luck today!

Lara said...

Love the things that come out of these kids' mouths. Too adorable.

As for the hospital visit, I probably wouldn't make him if it turns out to be a real fear. I have a child with lots of fears, and trying to make her face them doesn't usually turn out so well. I do talk about them a lot, and sometimes she is willing to try things. Good luck with everything!

Becky said...

Better licking equipment... Awesome!

I think I would take Miles unless it turns into a real battle (but you don't have those, right?). Riley never wants to go to church on Sunday but I tell him that's just what we do. And then I let him know I'm so excited to see what he'll make in class that day. It usually ends up with him saying, "Oh, okay Mom!"

But like Lara said, if he really seems freaked out, forcing him may not be a great idea.

Good luck!

Heidi Ashworth said...

That Miles is pretty darn bright! I would honor his wishes. There are other ways you can make him feel included besides taking him to the hospital--which can be pretty overwhelming and scary for even a bright kid like him. In fact, sometimes it's worse BECAUSE they're bright--he understands things that other kids might not. I have a bunch of super bright nephews but one in particular was so darn stinkin' smart he worried about everything--because he understood what things meant and the implications (he now works as a physics statistics guy). It's almost a bit of a curse because these kids have the brains to understand a lot but not the emotional maturity to deal with it. I would just buy him a book or ball or whatever he especially likes for being such a good brother. (sorry for the long reply--you asked, right? Just checking)

Chris Tomlin Is My Pretend Boyfriend said...

I know we talked about this the other night, but I don't remember what we came up with. I say take him to the hospital. As someone said before, there's got to be a book about going to the hospital for kids. Kinda like the Corderoy book about going to the Dr. I think it'll be good for him to help understand that he has to be gentle with Asher and I really liked the idea of him bringing Asher a Get Well Soon gift. Perhaps a Chris Tomlin CD???? HaHa, I'm only kidding. Kinda.

Kazzy said...

Miles seems like such a cutie!

That is a tough one to figure out what to do about the hospital visit. He may be bright enough already to understand some of the science of it. It could be a really great bonding experience for a big brother to extend some compassion to a younger brother. Maybe he can bring him a small gift and hold his hand. One of the things that I have really enjoyed as a mom is giving my kids appropriate opportunities to stretch themselves a little emotionally. Once we had our then 16 yr-old help us out with our then 14 yr-old. It was important for their relationship.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

I am no help. I'm sure whatever you choose will be the right thing for you little guy.

Love his perspective on life ;)

Kristina P. said...

I think I would take him. I think if he sees what's really going on, he won't be so scared of hospitals.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I've been thinking about Asher...and I'll be thinking about all of you on Wednesday.

As for Miles - I'm a little biased since I have a 3 1/2 year old with some delays. Three sounds awfully young to me for that kind of experience. I think he'll be able to sense how careful everyone is with Asher post-op and will follow your lead. If he's really physical (like mine) then you may not be able to avoid more of the same roughhousing either way. I think that my son would initially try to be gentle, but then his sensory issues would kick in and he'd be back to tackling. You'll just have to be more vigilant.

Don't add anymore stress to your life than you have to right now! Let Miles stay home and just talk to him about being more gentle with Asher.

That's my advice - but I realize that all kids are different. So I'm sure that in the end, you'll just do what works best for your boys.

jodilee0123 said...

There is so much good advice here so I hope I'm not repeating anybody. I think I would try a visit with the expectation that it may be very very short. Maybe somebody else can come along to take him home early if you would like to stay longer. You could possibly take some pictures before hand and let him see Asher so he knows what to expect. Kids are much more perceptive sometimes than we give them credit for. I had to get a mole removed and had both kids in the room. There was nothing else I could do--we don't have family here and it is tough to find a babysitter (and expensive too!) So, my son watched the whole thing. I was terrified for him. He still knows where my "owie" is and his magic NUNU ribbon will try to heal it. Now, obviously Asher's surgery is major and you would want him to feel okay and look not so scary to his brother--but he may also just feel better and heal quicker by seeing his brother too. I don't think there is a right or a wrong here--just what feels right for your family.

PsychMamma said...

Here's my 2 cents worth:

If he really doesn't want to go, don't make him. BUT, I would doing something like making a book together where you doodle and color simple (stick figures are OK) drawings of what's going to happen. My guess is that it's a little scary for him, and it'd be good to un-scarify him AND make him understand that something serious is going to happen.

It could go like this: your car going to the hospital, the hospital, Asher in a bed getting ready for surgery, Asher going to sleep, Asher in surgery where they have to put something very important in his head to help him get better, Asher in recovery room, Asher waking up, bandages on Asher's head, talk about that it will be like a boo-boo that you have to be very careful with for a while, Asher coming home, Asher resting to get better, Asher playing again.

Maybe you sketch the pages, he can color them, and you talk about them together. Then, he can see the "story" of what will happen, hopefully understand a little better, and be a little less scared. Maybe after you do this, he'll decide he wants to come. If he doesn't, don't push it. Maybe time with Nanny & Auntie will be just what he needs.

BaronessBlack said...

Hi there!
You'll work it out as, and how you need to. But my tip would be for one of you to take Miles shopping for a present for Asher when he's getting better; which gives you a chance to talk about all the things Miles can do to help. And have a present for Miles from Asher ready in the hospital, so when Miles does visit, there's something special for him as well.
Very best luck with working it out!

Melanie J said...

Ooh, interesting dilemma. But I'd say let Miles be your guide. I'm betting he'll let you know what his comfort level is. If he seems just fine without his brother around for a few days, let it be. If he shows anxiety, bring him around when Asher is somewhat himself again. And if I duplicated anyone else's advice, sorry! I had to zip through the comments!

Ron said...


Let me start by telling you that I was a chaplain at a local hospital on a volunteer basis. There were a lot more calls to the CCU than to the broken arm wing (pun intended). The best thing you can do, in my humble opinion, is to completely prepare him for everything he will see. The lights, the beeping, the tubes, the IV, all freaky stuff if you have never seen it. Preparation for Asher is cructial. So would prep for Miles.

If he decides to go, he will take his reaction cues from you and dad. He will watch your concern.

Positive reassurance is your best bet.

Has miles been to any of Ashers appointments ?

might help.

We are praying for y'all

Ron said...

and on the lighter note, my nephew said, when he was 2ish, after my dog licked his leg .. "Hey, he yick my yeg!" .. he is 18 and in the army now, and we still tease him

Keyona said...


Take him. It's not going to traumatize him. After Asher wakes and is non-drowsy let him go in. He will be a better helper and more understanding as to why he has to be gentle when Asher gets out of the hospital if has has a clue. Ya know? Good luck hon, I'm thinkin' of yall...oh and tonight on the ride home I saw a man who soooo thought his car was invisible too....nose picker/eaters! Gross!

The Crowders said...

i love from the mouth of miles!

charrette said...

He is truly adorable. I love the dog-licking equipment.

I don't think I would ever insist that he go to the hospital if he were uncomfortable with the idea. It won't matter to Asher -- he likely won't even remember. You definitely don't want to traumatize Miles by forcing him into a hospital visit...even though we all know it wouldn't be that traumatic in reality. I think it would be fine for him to wait until Asher comes home. And I'm certain any sort of bandage or stitches he comes home with will impress the seriousness of it to Miles.

Hope all goes well tomorrow and Wednesday. You'll be in my prayers.

Peanut said...

Miles is so cute!

I think I would take him to the hospital, but of course, you know him best. We find that KK needs to see things to really grasp them, otherwise telling her about them just confuses her. I like the idea that he might be more careful with Asher when he comes home if he knows more what is going on.

Pink Ink said...

Your little boy is funny :-) In our family, when someone is sick, or at the hospital, it's best to take the others there so they are not just imagining the worst.

Good luck with the surgery!

Kristen said...

Oooh, that's a tough one. I would be thinking the same thing. But I agree with Pink Ink. His imagination is probably worse than the reality. It might be reassuring to see his brother after the surgery (head attached and all).

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