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Too Much Energy and Not Enough Sense

One of the joys of watching RR thrive has been watching her test the limits of danger. Our limits, anyway. It’s not totally apparent that she realizes danger is actually a thing.

And as D so aptly summarized, our very different parental coping skills have led to greater examination of our own boundaries. I want to show RR how to summit the couch, the fun of running across the street, and which of the low branches of our smallish tree to grasp. I want her to get to the top of the slide and come zipping down. I don’t want her to bleed or get a concussion or otherwise get maimed on my watch.

So I’m torn. I get frustrated when I feel like we’re protecting her too much or standing too close. I worry that if she never has the chance to run and fall now, she won’t know how to do it later on. Not just as she plays tag, but as she auditions for a play or tries out for the team. Part of growing up is learning boundaries but another, crucial, part of growing up is learning independence and recovery. The ability to bounce back often marks the difference between success and giving up.

On the other hand, she’s a tiny kid. She doesn’t remember to catch herself when she’s running and goes down. And when she goes, it’s a chin smacking, lip bleeding, face banging crash. Cuddling doesn’t fix the temporary pain and I worry that it will deter her from running again (though it hasn’t yet). She hasn’t learned that our concrete steps are unforgiving (while I have firsthand knowledge). And she doesn’t get that you have to use your abs to stay upright when sliding, otherwise you’ll wind up flat on your back.

So I know that while my wife thinks I’m an encouraging, enabling, daredevil abetting partner in crime, I’m actually two parts stop holding her back so she can learn! and one part oh god I’m going to ruin my perfect pretty baby. It’s hard!  Though RR is nonstop go go go I have to constantly remind myself that she doesn’t know any better.  While I don’t want us to be stop stop stop it’s worth remembering that we do know better and that means only letting her fall down SOME of the time.

Has anyone else noticed that parenting is hard?


10 Responses

  1. Parenting is damn hard, and exhausting, and draining. And yet it’s the most wonderful thing ever in my life!!

    I tend to hover less than Ching does. It also sounds like Noah might be a tad more careful, but so far he’s unfazed by falling and such.

    • Yesterday she hurdled toward a 4 foot drop like she was a skydiver on a mission. We caught her. Debra is slowly recovering from terror.

  2. Hey, she will survive and probably thrive more than those kids who hardly see the light of day because they don’t go out and play! Were you not covered in boos boos when you were little?
    I highly recommend the shooting range when she’s a bit older…she’ll love it!

  3. Ok, I’ve got to explain the part about going to shooting ranges…it’s all about getting rid of, or preventing fear. You know, girls and guns, boys and laundry.

  4. How about a padded jungle gym? They have some at some of the malls, don’t know much about your town but they’ve got to have some there. Heck, come on up to Potomac Mills and she and Noah and run laps!

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