Sunday, November 23, 2008

a glimpse into her brain

When Delma woke up this morning, she was crying and asking for her puppy. "I want my puppy!" She doesn't have a puppy. I can only assume this was some carry-over from a dream she was having. I asked her about it a couple of times, but she didn't tell me anything about her dream or the puppy. She's been talking a lot about monsters lately, too. Not in a fearful way, really. Sometimes she'll ask me if the monsters are coming. The other day we were playing and all of a sudden she got very quiet, told me to be quiet, then sat down on the floor and whispered to me that the monsters were coming. She just sat for a few moments, quietly waiting. It sounds creepy when I explain it, but it was actually cute and playful. When she asks me, "Mommy? Monsters coming?" I laugh and make light of it and tell her no, of course not, they're only pretend and there are no real monsters. But she really doesn't seem concerned about it or like she's looking for reassurance. It's just more conversational.

It's hard for me as a parent to not project my own fears and insecurities on my children. I was such a fearful child, I was afraid of my own shadow. I expect her to be scared by things, like monsters, but she isn't. She's fearless. And she's a performer, like Josh. She loves an audience, and it's facinating to me because I am just the opposite. She also has no regard for her personal safety at all, which is not unusual for a toddler, I know, but she really pushes it. She'll throw herself around like the world is one big pillow ready to cushion her fall. A few weeks ago at a playground, she watched a bigger girl jump off the jungle gym. She just walked over and stepped off after her, without even looking down. Luckily it wasn't a far drop, but if it had been I hate to think what would have happened. I wasn't close enough to catch her before she hit the ground, it left me completely shaken and left her oblivious as usual.

I don't want to make her afraid of the world, I want her to be a brave, bold, fearless girl and woman. But I don't want her to break her legs or worse. How do you instill a healthy dose of caution in a toddler?? Maybe we need to invest in a helmet and a bubble-wrap body-suit until she's old enough to reason with.

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