22 May 2011

Whose kids are these? Where IS the parent?

In a house full of kids, life is never dull. This can be really fun ... always something going on, kids entertaining themselves and each other and me, rarely do I hear "I'm bored". And it can be not so fun... for the same reasons. But even when they do "the darndest things", sometimes you have to chuckle...

Like when they shove their heads through a training potty...
which I wrote about here.

Or decide to take a crap in a cupboard...
which was detailed in this post.

Or dress up in funny costumes...
like being a junior executive... or drug-dealer lookalike.

I have been witness to these sorts of things for 16 years... remember I have all those stepkids. I really enjoy the energy of a large family and the antics of the kids, but I have found that sometimes I am kind of jaded or detached ... and that freaks out other parents. 

When we are out in public and my kids start doing their thing, other adults get nervous. And I understand why. 

My kids have all been climbers, runners and jumpers as little ones. They have all experimented with the top of the playground climbing structure before they could walk. They climbed six-foot ladders by the age of 6 months. Walking along the back of the free-standing sofa has been a favorite activity (the sofa needed to be pulled into the center of the room because there was a picture-window that was being pounded on not just with fists but hard toys).

There is a sixth sense a parent can develop about his or her children. You really get to know their abilities, when they will probably be fine and when they might run into difficulty. I tend to hang back a bit, and let the kids find the point of "failure" on their own terms. This does NOT mean that I let them ride their bikes on the highway or try jumping off the roof with a towel-cape safety-pinned to their shoulders. 

It means that after spotting several trips up the slide-ladder, I know my little one can do it... most of the time... and I will walk away and let him or her do it on his or her own. It is when my 18-month old is at the top of the ladder and I am not obviously standing right there, another mom (usually) will be looking all around with that "who is the parent? where is this child's parent?" look of desperation/exasperation on her face. This sort of situation happened yesterday.

We were at swimming lessons. Miss C is impossible to contain in this setting. The parking lot and access road are of concern. The stairs are a concern. The cyclone fencing separating the viewing area from the pool is a concern. The 2-foot retaining wall is a concern. Not anymore.

I showed you her jumping skills a while back... in this post.  That was her practicing jumping off the back of the sofa down into the cushions. Well, lately, I have caught her jumping from a dining room chair down onto the floor... and sticking the landing! This kid is 2!

So when she started jumping off the 2-foot retaining wall, I just sat and watched. She had it ...

She did this 3 or 4 times and then fell. That woman sitting right there flipped out! Fortunately, I was able to smooth her ruffled feathers and CPS was not called. And Miss C was totally fine... got up, brushed herself off and tried again.

At home, however, safety is a major concern. 

She is no longer contained. Not really sure what to do about this.


I have been told that you can get boob shoes to go with the boob scarves... thanks for the heads up, Jill ;-)

And the voting is really heating up in this blog contest!  I have pulled up even with 12th place! So help keep the momentum... ride the wave.... they won't know what hit them... we're going to take this race like a tsunami.... is that a bad choice of metaphor?  You can pop the pink button at the upper right... or you can just click right HERE!


  1. There is something about the last one! My youngest is a huge dare devil and it does not freak me out, I know what he can and can't do, plus, I don't think I have any more brain cells left!! It is funny though when you hang out with a new mom, I shudder to think that was me at one time! Thanks for the fun post!

  2. Kids are fearless aren't they?

    Stopping by from the Sundae Hop.


  3. Well, that kid has some fierce determination! Wonder where she gets it?!?

    How many more day are you going to harrass us to keep voting? ;) Ok, off to vote...and so glad I could hope you with the boob shoes.

    Oh and how muchc time do I have to do my gadget video? I had a crazy busy weekend and no time to gadget. I have til next weekend, right?? Please?

  4. Toddler jumps off wall...news at 11!
    ...I totally get it. Plus your kids will be so much calmer as adults from not having a parent who flips out at everything.
    I do love the pic of the kid shitting in the cupboard though. That's something I haven't experienced...and I'm soooo jealous! That's an awesome picture!

  5. Two words....Shock Collars. The kind they use for dogs, you know the "Invisible Fence." Works with mine. Just kidding. I double stacked gates for quite a while, and at an increasing angle so that if (heh when) they DID try to climb it the gate fell down OUTSIDE the object of their desire. They usually learned quickly that it doesn't work to climb double gates.

  6. Great stories about your kids! My youngest is very similar...last summer he was going off a skateboard ramp on his scooter with several older, neighbor kids. He wiped out, knocked the wind right out of himself, laid on the sidewalk for several seconds. Then I saw his arm go up and heard, "It's still my turn" :)

  7. More running posts, please.

    Ian and I were walking back to the car today from the finish line and he was being his normal self which means that at one point he was tumbling down the side of a very shallow drainage ditch. I didn't even stop walking, why? I just said, "c'mon buddy we really do need to get going..."

    Meanwhile these other people where literally holding their breath until he actually got up.

  8. Nothing I say can add to this post. Beautiful. But I will say you got some demanding readers - what's up with Patrick?

  9. Ha! This video is hilarious!! ;) Love how she is so determined and then just brushes off her robe like it is all in a day's work. :) Too cute!!! :) And I bed you'll get all the way up there in the top 5 at your rate. :)

  10. I love her climbing over the gate! I was a little worried for a sec but then nope, she had it! : ) Your site always cheers me up.

  11. I was just at the park dealing with the exact same slide ladder climbing looks from random "responsible" parents. Don't the notice my other 3 kids who have obviously made it past the toddler stage unscathed. ;) (oh probably not, they were climbing trees)

    Miss C cannot be contained... my Jonny is only centimeters away from being able to escape his last safe place, the playpen.

    Off to vote now. :)

  12. Look at you, letting your kids run wild. Glad I'm not the only one. Ha!

  13. I would literally bubble wrap my child if I could! You are sooo brave. I just fear the worst and I'm sure I've scared the courage to try anything outta my child. She just holds my hand all the time, I got her right where I want her!

  14. NO WONDER YOU DON'T FIX YOUR HAIR!!!! My lord, lady!!! I always knew you were busy, but not THIS busy. Those kids are trying to kill you, I just know it!

    You have 10, right?

    I'm tired.

  15. lol...That gate-jumping video is awesome. I love the look she gave you as she walked away. It was like she was saying, "Well, now that that's out of my way..." ! My baby decided to be a climber/early walker...we set up a very similar gate when he was 8 months old. The first thing he tried to do was climb over it! Luckily, he still (at 12 months) doesn't quite have the skills!



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