You know those kids who sit quietly and listen to the librarian read books, with their hands gently folded in their laps? Yeah… that isn’t my kid. I have a climber, a runner, a jumper, a skipper, an explorer, a finder, and tinkerer. He likes adventure, risk, play, excitement, and liveliness. Munchie learns through exploration and discovery – just like most children his age… so for the most part, we embrace that! (Big shout outs to his his new school and Tinkergarten for not just embracing, but encouraging play-based learning!)
When Munchie was a wee one (and I was a SAHM) we frequented the story time circuit. We’d hit the library twice a week and Dancing Bear (our local battery-free toy store… totally rocks)… do our thing, maybe get coffee with another mom and their baby. It was super chill… until Munchie became mobile. Once he was on the move, he was everywhere and keeping up with him was quite the task.
I do recall attempting to “wear” Munchie… and while babywearing is one of my favorite pastimes when it comes to babies… this does not apply to claustrophobic children who throw fits, pull hair, kick, hit, and scream in my ear. So… until he could walk… he was a perfectly happy stroller kiddo! And when he could walk… we walked EVERYWHERE.
Walking turned into running and hopping, skipping, jumping, climbing, galloping, and flipping around in whichever way he pleased. Our rule is “mindfulness.” Be mindful of your body, your balance, and your surroundings… because we’d rather not go to the hospital today. We will if we need to… but we’d rather not. Munchie always gives a chuckle and goes about his flipping and twisting and spinning.
When it comes to risk-taking, we let him assess the danger level. We offer to spot him. We let him climb, but we don’t place him on high objects. If he’s climbing a tree, we are willing to coach him… but we won’t put him in the tree. He needs to problem solve. He isn’t allowed higher than he can physically climb on his own. If he can get up, he can get down. These are our risk-taking rules.
This is also a child who (when we take him in public) will ride things on the boardwalk that I’m terrified of… like that thing that jacks you up in the air and just drops you from the sky. (Thanks to a fellow Ra-Ra for riding with him on that one!) He was slightly timid at the carnivals this year, but freaked out at the fair when he was too short to ride the Zipper and the Scrambler. Really???
Confession: I try really hard not to judge other parents (because at the end of the day, most of us are just trying our best and hoping we don’t ruin our kids too horribly). When I was a Nom (a non-mom) I pre-judged parents who had child harnesses (aka kid leashes) and said I would NEVER have one of those for my child(ren). Well… I’m here to tell you that a lot more people have them than you think. If you have one, you aren’t alone. It might look like a cute little backpack… but it’s a kid leash. We bought ours the summer that kid jumped into the gorilla pit at that zoo. Remember that? I remember thinking… “Yeah, I could see how that happened.” BUT… I didn’t buy one.
Then, we went to a carnival… Munchie was TWO. He was on that motorcycle ride that just goes in a circle. He was BUCKLED. The child unclipped his buckle and JUMPED OFF THE MOVING RIDE! Seeing as we had an upcoming trip planned to Busch Gardens… and I’d rather be judged than lose my child… guess what got ordered from Zulily before we got to the next ride?
Fun fact: Munchie LOVED his backpack harness. Though, he most certainly DID get down on all fours in the middle of Target and bark like a dog while wearing it.