Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Paranoia or just plain parenting?

Do I trust Miss M?

At this point, I trust her to do the following:

*climb any/all available flat surfaces, including but not limited to stepstools, chairs, sofas, coffee tables (thankfully, we don't have one), and her Learning Tower. And then jump up and down on said surface.

*eat/drink anything vaguely edible left within 12 inches of the edge of the dining room table.

*empty any drawer, box of tissues, or package of wipes within reach.

*to play with any electronic device that lights up or beeps (or, in the case of the phone, both).

And do various other toddler things. This is just part of the package. I understand this. Really, I do.

What I don't understand is how other parents expect me to just "let her go play," unsupervised, in someone else's house. Even when I am in a house that is well-toddlerproofed--like that of our closest friends, who have a 15-month old daughter who is Miss M's best pal--I don't let her go wandering without being watched for very long. A year from now this could be quite different, I'm sure. Heck, once she starts answering me when I call her name things might change a little. But in the meantime, I'd rather she save destroying board books and denuding clothing drawers for our house, thank you very much.

Because of all this, I think that Miss M has seen her last La Leche League meeting. For now, at least. I missed half the meeting chasing her to the leader's playroom. Although she has several kids, the youngest of whom is 4 months older than Miss M, I could see about 5 potential hazards for her in that room. (And that's the "babyproof" room in the house! The last time we were there Miss M burned her hand on the riser in the bathroom; I had taken her in with me, of course, because I couldn't leave her for two minutes unsupervised.) A friend whose 3-year-old was there offered to have her daughter "babysit" and come tell us if Miss M was doing something ill advised. Um, no thanks.

Is it bizarre that I am thinking of a newborn baby as a vacation of sorts? Nurse, change, cuddle, sling, and desperate chasing involved? I am already plotting that Miss M's savta will come and hang out with her on the 3rd Wednesday in May so that the b2b and I can get 2 hours of quality couch time at the May LLL meeting. I a paranoid parent? Or just trying to be careful/responsible for my kidlet?

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