Buzz Bishop: Daddy Buzz


The Unfortunate Side Effect of Unconditional Love

Parenting and Irrational Fears

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Ask a parent to define unconditional love and you’ll have your answer before you finish asking the question. It’s an answer you know the moment your child is born.

It’s the moment you instantly know the pecking order of life. No matter what, the child’s well being supersedes your own. You’d take a bullet, you’d fight a bear, you’d face a train. No questions asked, the survival of your child is the most important thing in your life - that’s unconditional love.

The side effect of unconditional love they don’t tell you about, however, is irrational fear. We are so consumed with the survival of our kids, we will worry about every. single. little. thing.

Our brain says one thing, instinct says another.

My youngest son, Charlie, is nearly 21 months old. The ‘books’ say he should have a vocabulary of more than 15 words. He speaks 1. Car. That’s it, the rest of what comes out of his mouth are mumbles and grunts. He understands everything we say. He smiles and nods at the right times, but he doesn’t really speak.

And it’s brought out our irrational fear.

When Charlie was born, he was tongue tied, his frenulum was attached to the end of his tongue, instead of the middle of it. Our doctor said it was easy to snip, and we did it when he was a couple of days old.

Now, nearly 2 years later, Charlie isn’t speaking and my wife is having sleepless nights. She tosses and turns thinking it was our decision to snip that has now lead to him not being able to fully speak. She had dreams of having to teach him sign language, of him going through life not being able to communicate.

My wife is being silly. While my son’s lack of vocabulary is increasingly worrying to both of us, it has nothing to do with him being tongue tied.

You could call it irrational fear, really it’s unconditional love.

I'd love to tell you what my family doctor says, but we live in Calgary - we don't have one.  Alberta is a have province with a have-not population that can't see a physician on a regular basis.  We go to a drop-in clinic for our visits, but never have consistent care, or consistent answers.