Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Great Parenting Dilemma

The punk has discovered his one true calling (besides cars, trucks, trains, books, and balls): Climbing! My man and I knew he could scale the first tier of this cinderblock wall, into the empty space in the garden where the cilantro used to be before I pulled it out because it started flowering and exploded into a mutant version of cilantro. Mutant plants are scary.

But then one day, the punk appeared on top of the second tier, and we weren't sure if he had descended the first tier, walked around the garden, and climbed the stairs, or if he had actually climbed the taller, second tier. We soon discovered that our son is a daredevil, and that yes indeed, he had climbed all the way up on his own.

This is the great parenting dilemma: when to set (and enforce) boundaries, and when to let your child do something that makes you as a parent a tiny bit uncomfortable. For example:
  • Do I teach the punk that it is impolite to consume only the juice from an orange slice and spit the half-masticated, dehydrated pulp onto his plate, or do I find comfort by telling myself it's only a phase, and that he will not do this on his first date? (Answer: let him remove the sad little orange slices from his mouth. For now.)
  • Do I let the punk run around on his grandparents' trampoline, even though I nearly have a heart attack every time he teeters close to the edge, which is every 3 seconds? (Answer: yes. He hasn't fallen off yet.)
  • Do I allow the punk to stand on our couch because he is still small, and his tiny feet can't do much damage to the sturdy leather? (Answer: no. "Knees or bum please!")
So, I have decided to set aside my own fears and allow the little daredevil to climb. If he falls, the jalapeƱos will catch him.


Emily Ortiz said...

Yes it's hard to decide when to step in and when to just let them play and have fun. Jay is way more scared of Devin getting hurt than I am. I am cautious of course but sometimes they have to learn the hard way!

Megan said...

Can Jonah come over to play?

Rach said...

And whatever you decide to say "No" to I, his loving aunt, will always be there to say "Yes". :)

Heather B said...

Oh, the parenting dilemmas. I face them all the time. I wish I had been more like you about feet on the couch. When Kalia was little and LOVED to climb and jump and had no where to do it, I let her climb on the coffee table and jump off to the couch. Cute, right? Not anymore, now that she's 3, and climbs up on my kitchen counter and jumps off to the floor. She still loves to climb on anything high, including all tables, and jump off. Coulda curbed that one much younger. Having said that, I do also agree with you that they do outgrow almost everything that you sometimes feel desperate to change, including mean things like hitting and biting. Working on that now with Annie, but I'm not as stressed, because like you said, they outgrow almost everything. Except bad table (jumping) manners. :) Your little guy is just adorable, I wish I could meet him in person.

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