Monday, December 29, 2008

On a Roll

It’s time for me to accept now that River is definitely getting into everything. A couple of days ago a newly married friend looked at me and said she was surprised that I didn’t seem stressed or tired. She told me about her cousin, pregnant with her third, who is exhausted from watching her two kids, especially her 1.5 year old boy, who is into everything.

Initially, I’ve looked into his curiosity with support. I’m an explorer myself, I expect that he may be also. I tend to think that he has a certain knowledge of his boundaries. Even if he doesn’t, I know that going outside those bounds is how he learns.

But I’m now learning that along with learning, comes getting hurt. There was his fall off the bed last week. This morning he caught his fingers in the cupboard. Though I rescued him within seconds, I think he still felt substantial pain. After a walk, during which he stood up in his stroller for the first time, I brought him inside. Our babysitter, Grace, was already there. There were about 30 seconds during which River crawled on the floor and neither of us were watching him carefully.

When Grace came to him, she saw a little blood on his finger. I thought it was from the cabinet incident that morning. Then we both saw a fairly deep scratch on his nose, with blood emerging from it.

Mark closes off the dangers by putting gates at the kitchen entrance and the base of the stairs. I understand that we need to do that sometimes. However, we have a small place. With those two areas closed off, River has only two small rooms to move through. It’s a very limited space for a growing boy.

Mark thinks this acknowledgement means we need a bigger house. I think I need to figure out how to balance River’s need for exploration with my responsibility to keep him safe. I imagine this is something that many parents struggle with. How do you manage this?

I think I’ll also need to bring him to areas with more space – outdoors when the weather improves – to the library or the mall until then. Especially once he starts walking, he’s going to need some room to move.

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