A Cautious Mom Raising a Fearless Child
Growing up, I was a cautious kid. I had fears of pretty much everything:
- I ran out of the movie theatre when E.T. appeared on screen;
- I bolted out the back door of our house when my mom had a friend dress up as Santa and “Ho, ho, ho!” his way through the front door;
- After I was informed that the tooth fairy would be visiting me while I slept, I set a trap for her, because the idea of some tiny flying woman slipping under my pillow to take my teeth was jarring, to say the least. I strategically placed fishing line across the doorway in the hopes that her wings would get caught. “What did she even need all those teeth for?:”
- I never liked to swing too high on the swings or go down steep slides;
- No one paid more attention to the “Stop, Drop, and Roll” fire safety presentations at school. I even practiced at home, on my own.
The only reason I was ever invited to go to carnivals with friends was so I could hold everyone’s personal items while they rode the roller coasters. I was perfectly content playing the role of the pack mule for my friends. I ran from snakes, lizards, and bugs like it was my job (confession: still do). By age 12, I felt like I could handle the airplane emergency exit plans better than the adults who were sitting there and remember thinking, “Oh my gosh, they are sleeping!”, feeling horrified by their lack of concern for the safety of their fellow airplane passengers.
As an adult, things haven’t changed too much when it comes to my concern for safety, except I do laugh a little during the airplane safety presentations, when it is suggested that if my flotation vest doesn’t inflate, I can use the straw like attachment to blow it up myself, you know… after surviving a crash into the water? Sounds legit. I am a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI). Yeah, that’s right – it’s a real thing and I am a playground safety vigilante, always looking for a protrusion or potential entrapment situation. I install extra fire and carbon dioxide detectors at home – “just in case”. I keep a first aid kit in my backpack. I am “next level”l helicopter mom when it comes to safety.
As life would have it, I have a child who is fearless – she has absolutely no regard for safety. My sensory seeker runs into streets, jumps and climbs onto everything that isn’t meant to be climbed or jumped off of, and bounces her way through life. She talks to random adults (otherwise known as “strangers”) everywhere we go, and comes home with pockets full of worms. I fear the day she is fast enough to catch a lizard. Taking her to a furniture store is the equivalent of taking her to a soft play place, but without the door charge. As you can imagine,she makes this safety conscious mom’s heart leap into my throat on the daily. Her body is permanently adorned with bruises, bumps and scrapes, but injuries don’t slow her down.
So – how does a safety conscious mom sleep at night knowing that each morning her sensory seeker will be up before sunrise, ready to jump her way through the day/off the walls? Here are a few things I put into place to keep her from getting seriously injured while she performs all her own stunts:
- Fun-noodles: these are not only fun for pools and sword fighting. They are great to cover sharp and/or hard edges and railings. They also help slow down a fast-moving climber. When she was a baby, I lined her crib rails with fun noodles.
- Corner guards: These are great and come in a variety of colors to blend with furniture.
- First aid kits: Injuries are inevitable, but keeping a small first aid kit helps alleviate the worry and when injuries happen, my daughter feels better knowing I am doing something to address her concerns.
- 6-inch twin mattress: These are easy to move around crash pads. As long as she is going to be jumping, I like to keep a soft landing place available to her.
How do you keep your sensory seeker safe? Share your safety tips in the comments!