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katehaney

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06:00 am: I'm Teddy! I'm 3.
That's how Teddy introduces himself... to everyone. No one escapes his notice: kids in the park, kids in strollers, kids walking by, parents walking by, parents with strollers, parents in the park, cashiers, mail carriers, police officers, random pedestrians. He's not only broken out of his shell; he's tossed it aside and left it in the dust.

For the moment, it's mostly amusing. Peter worries some because he's so very friendly - and he tells everyone his name. He seems to have overcome his fear of dogs (except perhaps Bailey) as well, so we're working diligently on never approaching a dog without checking with its person first, being cautious, and all that. We'll have to add people to the cautious list soon.

* * * * *

Teddy and I went to the park last night after dinner (ribs + corn on the cob = mandatory maternal calorie burning; Teddy came along for the ride). It was my first time going with him this spring (I think), and it was... odd. Not entirely comfortable for me. He was just fine, running around like a maniac, fearlessly trying every piece of equipment (though not necessarily staying on all of it - he still doesn't care for swings).

He's old enough that I don't need to hover. He can navigate his way through packs of children and new apparatus with no problem. As long as I can see him, I'm fine with that.

Except that I'm not quite fine with that. It feels weird to be hands off. I know it's what he needs (and I know I need practice at it). So I hover visually, if not physically. It helps that it's a very safe playground, enclosed with a safety fence, and with a springy, cork surface on the ground. But still... I want to help. I want to keep him from hurting himself in even small ways.

I especially want to keep him from being hurt by others. There were a bunch of older kids (maybe 6-7?) there, although it's supposed to be for 1-5 year olds. And the big kids are rowdy. They push and shove and climb up the slides when little kids are trying to slide down.

And they made fun of Teddy. "I'm Teddy! I'm 3!" they laughed. Little fuckers (they were the same way with all the little kids there - they wanted to do their big-kid thing in the little-kid park). I gave them a very nasty look indeed, though Teddy had no idea that he was being mocked. At one point, he came running over to me, smiling like crazy, and said "the big kids don't want to play with me!" He's delighted to have a little of their attention and to understand what they want from him (even when it's exclusionary). He calls them all his friends and doesn't particularly care if they actually play with him.

I know that he will understand and care at some point, and will be hurt. And as much as I want to protect him from that, I know that I can't.

This parenting stuff is hard.

* * * * *

Nothing from the couple who came for a second look at the house.

Current Location: Boston
Current Mood: worriedworried

Comments

[User Picture]
From:wendymarques
Date:June 5th, 2008 12:57 pm (UTC)

It IS Hard

(Link)
I do the same thing when we go to the park. I don't hover (cuz I can't - I'm busy chasing Jackson around who thinks he is like 8 years old and can do all the things, even those that are supposedly designed for 5 years+. If Nicolas is doing it, he wants to as well). But I always get nervous when Nicolas is playing on things that are "less safe" than simply going up the steps and going down the slide. And when there are older kids running around and not paying attention to who they knock over, makes for a nervous mommy. Luckily we've escaped any serious injuries so far.
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