Elma is very definitely in that developmental stage where there’s nothing she cannot do. She seems to have no fear; nothing is too big or too difficult and I don’t think she ever stops trying to find something new to climb. Where Kitty leads, she doesn’t see any reason why she shouldn’t follow. And so it’s Kitty by comparison who seems to be a little more timid about trying out new things, a sense of self-preservation seems to be kicking in.
We spent Friday having a picnic with friends up at the fabulous Ryton Pools play park; it’s huge, mostly the right sort of size for tallish three year olds and was practically deserted. Perfect. The three year olds ran, climbed, scooted down the slide, played on the stick xylophone, and continued a long running and rather convoluted game of pirates that they resurrect every time they get together; and the two baby sisters, tottered around in circles, made a beeline for the “sh-wings”, and death stared any Mama who dared to suggest that they might like to chill out on the blankets for a little while.
Kitty had had a go on this swirly whirligig and nothing was going to stop Elma following suit, even if it is bigger than she is!
But it was Kitty who surprised me; she watched her friend whizz down the zip wire before deciding it was her go; albeit a go with Mama holding on all the time, and then she decided that actually, she could do it – and so I let go. It’s not crazy fast or very high, but for Kit that took a little blind faith in herself, and a lot of courage.
I think it must have given her a little boost because the next thing we knew she was completely up for trying to climb up to the crows’ nests; and with a bit of a helping hand at key points she did it too.
I don’t have any pictures that show the ground but let’s just say that I’m 6’0″ and I’m not crouching down or downhill.
It’s a funny one to navigate as a parent isn’t it; on the one hand I don’t want her to get hurt, and it’s a great thing that she’s starting to become aware of what might get her hurt, but on the other hand I want to encourage her, to give her confidence in herself to have faith and to go for it. I seem to spend so much time biting back “be careful” and telling her “you can do it; I’m here if you need me”; all the time wondering whether it would be OK to just keep her at home tucked up in bubble wrap. But then I see that smile; the smile that says that she did it, “all by my own Mummy!”, and I wouldn’t wish that away from her for the world.