Everything I Know About Being a Mom

Don't be such a boo-boo drama queen.

Watching Conrad play on a jungle gym was like listening to me do my best Howard Cosell impression: "Careful up the steps. Okay, he's holding on to the railing. Waaatch out. It's slippery. Go down one step at a time. Ooh, he lost the railing. Ooh, his foot is dangling. Aah! He's down!" My gasping and constant "Are you all right?" refrain made Conrad think he should be more hurt than he really was. He saw the fear in my eyes and got frightened himself. Now, at 7, when he takes a spill, no ice or ice cream can ease his pain and his china-doll attitude irks me. I know he'll live -- why doesn't he? We're working on bucking up a bit. I vowed to be different with Dash. I silenced my gasp. I kept my distance and waited for the tears. Often enough I was busy chatting with another mom at the playground and didn't even notice Dash's incidental boo-boos. My indifference paid off: With every hysterics-free stumble, trip, or roll off a step, Dash got a fresh coat of tough-kid Teflon. In Dash's world, there is no extra attention to be had by sitting on the sidelines. He always gets back in the game, and his self-taught stamina is inspiring.

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