Sunday, 5 May 2013

Week 87- Michael Rosen, safety nets and toddlers on leads

We took Nancy to see Michael Rosen this morning as part of The Brighton Festival.

She loves We're Going on a Bear Hunt, so I thought it would be a right treat to see the man himself performing it.

And it was.

For Ben and me.
Turns out the green food bag clip used for keeping the rice cakes fresh suddenly became massively interesting.

As all the children were shouting out, ‘I’m not scared!’, Nancy was shouting, ‘open it, open it!’ as she thrust the clip at me, which I did, for her then to close it, hand it back to me, and the cycle continued.
It was an alternate version of opening an expensive birthday present, and thinking  the wrapping paper is by far the best part of the gift.

I’m quickly realising that you can’t second guess a toddler.

They are a law unto themselves.
And for that reason I have invested in some reins.

Nancy sees something she fancies, and she’s off.
Pegging it down the aisle of the supermarket, or squiggling out of my grip when we’re walking along the pavement.

Or worse still, having a full on tantrum, lying on the floor, going rigid - the works. Which is a right laugh when you’re on your own with her.

So I thought reins would be the answer.
She feels independent, like she’s walking around on her own.

And I have hold of her at the other end.

But I’m not sure how I feel about it. Without over thinking everything, is it not a bit intrusive, keeping a hold of someone like that, however small they are?
While schlepping along on the seafront, I saw lots of people walking dogs, and I felt a little bit like I’m walking Nancy too. It is attached to a ladybird bag, but I still basically have her on a lead.

But then we went down to the sea, and at the water’s edge, Nancy made a run for the nearest wave.
Shoes and socks on, along with the only pair of trousers I’d packed.
She fearlessly threw herself at the sea.
And I totally shit myself.

But then remembered she was attached to me via the lead, and we were back in control.

I don’t want to be the panicky mum who’s kid turns up at school packed with remedies for everything and a letter saying she's not allowed to take part in team sports, just in case...
But I also don’t want to watch Nancy hurl herself in the open sea, when she is still mastering the ‘kick, kick, kick’ bit at the swimming lessons.

So maybe it’s OK.
Maybe it’s not controlling someone; it’s just providing a safety net.

And I guess that’s what you do throughout their lives.
Give them the opportunities, and see what they like.

And if all else fails, give them a green food bag clip.

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