As the weather has started to improve recently, we have been venturing outdoors much more. I try to get outside with the boys as much as possible, because a whole day inside has them both climbing up the walls and me ready to huddle up into a ball by the end of the day. More outdoor fun recently, means DB2 has had many more opportunities to explore and test himself – and my goodness has he tested himself! If there is a rock he will climb it, a hill he is up it and a ledge he will jump off it without a second thought. Many of these moments have left me with my heart in my mouth, but every time he has proven he is more than capable of the challenge.
I love children’s inquisitive nature and DB2 is at the age now where everything is fascinating. He has to discover as much as possible and does not like to be prevented. He has a great independence, but also a stubbornness which results in throwing himself to the floor and refusing to move until he is able to pursue whatever he is being stopped from doing. There is a fine line between encouraging exploration and allowing a potentially dangerous situation to occur, and clearly a two-year-old does not yet know the difference. This can make being out and about difficult at times, but our trusty reins (or ‘lead’ according to DB1) are great at preventing said dangers. Some situations you do not predict though, and although might leave you feeling slightly guilty, are learning experiences. Such as, the other day when DB2 wanted to go down a slide he has been down many times. Now, whenever he has been down this slide previously he has been fine, he’s gone at a steady pace and landed safely at the bottom on his own. The other day when he went down, there was one variation that I hadn’t considered – his all in one rain suit. Forgetting that this waterproof outfit is much more slippery than other clothes, we put him down the slide without me ready to catch him at the bottom and DB2 pretty much flew down and off so quickly that we didn’t quite know what had happened. This was one of those moments that you kick yourself over and feel that every other parent in the play area is judging you, but other than being a little shocked, he was absolutely fine and we have learnt a valuable lesson about rain suits and this slide.
As with any experimentation, sometimes we come across situations we do not like. With the Easter holiday’s being upon us, we have been making the most of our National Trust membership. Our most recent visit resulted in DB2 exploring the under growth at the sides of paths as he attempted to climb up the banks. As well as getting mucky hands, he also met some small creatures that didn’t please him so much. After placing his hand down the first time, an ant (a huge ant I might add) suddenly scurried on to it. DB2 quickly noticed this and screamed, waving his arm and hand frantically until the creature came off. Understandably, he was a bit shaken, but not deterred. A little further along on our walk, he attempted to climb up a bank again. This time we warned him about ants and just as he put his hand down, the moss next to it started to move. Noticing several large ants crawling around next to his hand, DB2 screamed even more piercingly than before and ran faster than I think I have ever seen him run. After tears and cuddles, he walked around much more tentatively, requested that we clean his hand because he was convinced there was an ant on it and would only move if his coat sleeve was pulled all the way over his hand, because he was now so fearful that these creatures were obsessed with climbing on it and were going to appear at any moment. As we sat down in the café, DB2 would not even allow the mention of ants and deemed them “Too scary!”. I feel a quick creepy crawly intervention is necessary in order to prevent what I fear could become a life-long phobia and having developed some weird phobias in early childhood myself, I would rather nip a fear of ants in the bud if possible.
The wonderful thing about exploring, is learning. DB2 is definitely doing a lot of this at the moment and with each adventure he is developing both from his achievements and mistakes. It can be hard as parents to let go and let our children get messy or do things that concern us (I know I have found this hard in the past), but unless they test themselves and investigate, they will not discover what they are capable of and neither will we. So, here’s to childish curiosity, may it infect us all a little more.
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Thank you for reading.
Mrs P x x x