The other day, Fleur gave me her doll so she could better play on the playground. Any doll that fits, I tend to either put in a pocket or the hammer loop.
The latter usually gets a quizzical look from other parents.
Look, my job as a solo parent is to ensure the child playing on equipment rated for children older than her both does it herself and doesn’t end up in the ER. She gets to feel independent. I get to feel needed. Holding a doll in my hands and catching a child interfere with each other.
Fleur was playing on the slide and getting quite the halo of hair from the static electricity. Guess it means we need to do better about getting lotion on this child?
As her clothes slid across the plastic of the slide, her body built up an excess of electrons. These atomic particles lie in wait for a way to get discharged. They are in a state of tension, just waiting for something to allow their release. That build up results in some hairs floating.
Waiting, waiting, waiting.
Now that the kiddo’s hair is getting so long, stuff like this is much easier to see. I would have thought the curliness more resistant to the halo. I was wrong.
Fleur is the adventurous type. She enjoys climbing, jumping, and scary situations.
For the most part, I have always encouraged her to push her boundaries within what I consider acceptable. Climb higher. Climb the arch ladder while holding her hips the first time but let her do it on her own subsequent ones. Jump off the 5 foot wall the 5 foot distance to catch her a couple feet off the ground. Throw her up into the air.
Momma cannot watch some of these antics. Mostly because her baby is in danger.
If I thought Fleur was really in danger, then I would encourage her to do something else. There is a risk. Throwing her up into the air means I could miss the catch. I am cognizant of the risk, but I accept it on our behalf.
The smile she has when successful is infectious. I hope evolutionary biology isn’t tricking me into letting her into unnecessary danger. It is a reward for me to see her happiness about having done the dangerous thing.
On the other hand, this confidence building feels very necessary. At the park, she was hesitant about the arch ladder. Protecting her the first time let her see it was possible. It expanded her worldview. She did it a dozen more climbs on her own. Because… she knew she could. I want her to feel like she can do anything.
Another thing is my language has changed over the past month or so. Instead of saying “be careful” so much, I am trying to get better about specifics. When she is walking on a curb, I will ask, “Do you feel stable?” Or when she is running, “Are you going the speed where you tend to trip?” or “Are there [roots or mud] for you to fall on?” The idea is to get her to consider the situation.
When I was not much older than my daughter, I contracted a bacterial infection that gave me meningitis. I was in a coma for a couple weeks. As were several other kids. Contact tracing pointed to the same playground. The story I was told was most of the other kids died, but somehow I survived. The recovery was just as difficult in that I had to relearn walking, talking, etc.
Seeing there is now a vaccine made me extremely happy it is on the schedule. No families should have to go through this nightmare.
In the current pandemic, the tables are turned. I am less worried about her than I am the adults she loves and who care for her. We are doing the social isolation as best we can. Hunkered down. Limiting our trips out of the house.