When my daughter first started crawling, I couldn’t wait for her to walk! No more dirty hands and knees and constantly wiping them off. She could wear shoes so her socks wouldn’t be dingy from the dirty floors. She took a few steps for about a month, but once she decided to walk, she walked. And now that’s all she does. And it’s great most of the time, but other times…
So I was walking into one of my favorite department stores and realized they didn’t have any carts where a kid could sit. I know they have them, but there weren’t any in the front of the store. Bummer. So I walked through the store with my daughter in my arm and thought she would be interested enough in the dress shirts I was going to buy for my husband. Ha, boy was I wrong!
We walked to the men’s department and she looked at a few shirts and then she started to get a little daring. She would walk to another display area or behind a rack. I would call her and she would look at me, but didn’t get far. But there’s something you need to know about my daughter, it doesn’t take long before she gets brave and wants to see and touch everything.
So I’m walking around, as is she, until I can’t see her anymore. A little fear and panic strike as I think of what she might be getting into or if someone has snatched her. I walk around all the displays quickly and there she is, in the women’s lingerie section. For some reason she liked looking through the bras. So I grab her and bring her back and she is not happy about that! It really surprises me how strong she is as she kicks and flings her head into my collarbone which I’m sure hurts her just as much as it hurts me. I try holding her, but with my pregnant belly, an enormous diaper bag, and trying to look at shirt sizes, I have to put her down. And off she goes between the clothes racks.
Of course she thinks it’s hilarious as I chase her around. So I just make sure I can keep an eye on her and try to shop quickly. Next thing I know I find her in the lingerie again. We do this a few times before I decide I can’t look anymore and what we have is just going to have to be good enough. So I grab her and we walk to the front of the store as she kicks and screams.
And then when I got to the line, there was a woman checking out with a children’s cart and no child! I was like, seriously? That could have saved me so much frustration and more time to look for the best deals and colors that would make my husband look like the attractive business man that he is! Ah!
And I figure, this isn’t the end of it. As long as she lives under our roof, I’ll be chasing after her. Keeping an eye on her at all times and telling her to come home. And although she may kick and scream and so want to be free, I know, for now, that I can see the potential danger ahead and I know that I’m keeping her safe. And as she gets older, I’ll have to let her be a little more daring as she ventures farther from her mother. I’m sure it will be so hard for me to let go, but it has to happen. As long as I teach her how to be safe and where she can turn to, I have to trust that she will make the right decisions.
It’s important that we teach our children correct principals and then let them figure things out. Of course we start out in a controlled environment at home, but as they grow, they start to learn on their own and you have to trust them. Teach them, then trust them. Luckily I have at least 17 more years to teach my daughter, but I know it will go fast and before I know it, she’ll be off on her own.