When my son was a toddler, I congratulated myself on my obviously superior parenting skills.
After all, besides a few bumps and bruises, he waltzed into mobility with barely a mark. I winced in sympathy as friends told me horror stories of rushing their two-year-old to the Emergency Room, of wondering if their pediatrician would turn them into CPS, and of child proofing their houses to the point of padded walls.
I sat with my little boy and nodded. Oh yes, I agreed, children are little bruise magnets. All the while I wondered why they weren’t just watching their child more diligently.
As with most things in my life, payback was swift. In this case it came in the form of my daughter.
Elizabeth has reached That Age. She’s just old – and tall – enough to start getting into things that used to be too high up. From a pot her great-grandmother left on the stove with the handle out to climbing on the kitchen table to get her own banana. It’s not that we don’t watch her like a hawk. We do. It’s that she’s so dang fast!
I leave her happily playing with age appropriate toys in the living room while I walk the thirty feet to the washing machine and return to see her playing with knives.
Well, not really.
People told me girls were different than boys. I expected a few differences – princesses instead of Jedis. I didn’t expect a child who thinks nothing of flinging herself from tables, couches, and chairs. I didn’t expect a child who thinks it’s perfectly fine to disobey mommy and reach for the iron. Is it a boy/girl thing? Or is it a first/second child thing?
Do you notice if your oldest is more cautious than your youngers? Are your girls more fearless than your boys?
I’ll be waiting for your answers while installing padding on my walls.