1. At what age is it no longer appropriate to bring your son into the ladies room with you? And if you send him to the boys room himself, how in gods name can you be sure he hasn't touched EVERY SURFACE POSSIBLE? 2. How much sugar does your kid eat daily? Or perhaps better put: what kinds of sweet foods does your kid eat daily? (I've been thinking about this because Bean seems to be sugar sensitive...he's sensitive to everything, so that's not really a surprise...but lately I've been starting to think I'm seeing patterns. Curious about your experiences...)
3. Why do so many mothers stop their children from taking risks--because they are afraid themselves? (Or something?)
EXHIBIT A: Today at the park there was a dad watching a boy and a girl. He let them both climb to the very top of the monkey bars, where they both perched, holding on, happy as clams while other kids rode the zip line thingy below them. Then mom came and dad left. And literally the first words out of her mouth were: "Get down from there right now!" Boy: "Why?" Mom: "Because, you'll fall!" Boy: "How do you know?" Mom: "Because so and so fell, that's why."
ACK. Why do we do this? Why are parents (and possibly particularly mothers) today so different than their counterparts a decade or two ago? What is it about nature, and high places and sharp that seem so terrifying that it's not even worth the supervised risk?
E.B. White in Charlotte's Web wrote about the Fern and Avery swinging out the barn door on the rope swing something like, "All the parents are afraid they'll fall...but they shouldn't be, because children always hold on tighter than adults think they will." (This is NOT a direct quote...If you haven't read Charlotte's Web in a while, you should!) And I tried to remember these words today as Bean spent the entire time climbing across the monkey bars and asking me to lift him up so he could cling to the zip line and fwap from one end of it to the other, his little pale boy belly exposed, his face scrunched up with glee and concentration.
(I'm also loving the Boys Almanac.)
And: Sprout's first time on an outdoor swing today. He couldn't stop giggling. I'm kind of addicted. Seriously cute.