So if you haven’t noticed in prior posts, I have, pretty much, the most cautious child ever.
Obviously, she gets it from her Daddy.
And it has it’s benefits, for sure. For instance, I’m pretty sure that she has NO idea what blood is – because she never puts herself in a position from which blood would be allowed to exit her body.
She’s just that careful.
But, of course, her cautiosity gets in the way of her having as much fun as I think she could have in life.
For instance: Yesterday. We went to a splash pad with our Mom’s group, hoping to have a more successful experience than last week’s activity.
While all of her friends enjoyed running through the great sprinklers of life (pardon the Veggie Tales quote), Ali stayed on the perimeter, catching what water she could without actually getting any on her person:
Sure, she was content enough to play in her oh-so-safe way, but what else are Moms for if not to push their child out of their comfort zone?
So, I recruited Abby, Ali’s older, braver, and wiser friend to create a peer pressure situation.
Ali looks up to Abby. She respects her a lot.
No, she reveres her.
They went all the way to the middle. Water was coming from every direction.
She pulled away from Abby and stood there, crying her eyes out.
So, obviously, the Mommy Guilt immediately set in, and I ran to rescue her from this sadistic situation that I created.
And, obviously, she wanted to be picked up and taken out of the water area.
Which, obviously, resulted in me becoming quite soaking wet (which I would have never had the opportunity to become had I not forced her to get wet):
And, obviously, denim and cotton doesn’t dry as fast as swimsuit, even in an Alabama August. So my punishment for pushing her past her comfort zone was all-day-long sogginess.
After that, she was quite done with the water, thankyouverymuch. So I changed her into dry clothes (wishing I could do the same), and we went to the playground part of the park, wwhere I let her play her way, maximizing her own cautiosity, while I watched, quite soggily.
But, for the record, I come by this whole “push your child out of their comfort zone” naturally.
Join me back to my childhood, circa six years old. . .
We had a steep hill near our house – VERY steep. My brother (JC) would always ride his bike down it, having huge amounts of gleeful fun.
I, on the other hand, was MUCH too cautious for such activities.
(Maybe Ali gets it from me after all.)
One fateful day, Mom finally decided that The Time Had Arrived. Rachel must experience the fun that she has been missing. So she MADE me ride my bike down the steep hill, despite my teary-eyed pleas to spare my life.
And, toward the bottom of the hill, my bike skidded and crashed in a bit of gravel. And I fell forcefully off of my bike, getting a rock lodged quite deeply in my cheek.
Mom, of course, experienced Mommy Guilt in it’s greatest form as she sped my bleeding face to the doctor to get me stitched up, probably getting a bit soggy herself in the process.
I still have quite the gashy scar across my cheek, and Mom just MIGHT still have a little bit of Mommy Guilt over it.
So the moral of these stories is: If your kids are content with their minimal level of fun, LET THEM BE. Because they WILL find a way to make you regret your decision to push them, and therefore make you suffer eternally with Mommy Guilt.
Or sogginess. One or the other.