Friday, June 1, 2012

A Metaphor for Parenting

My three month old daughter loves to wiggle. I lay a blanket on the floor for her, then another on top of that one so that there is more padding between her face and the hardwood laminate that covers the concrete floor, then I put her down on her tummy.

But since she loves to wiggle, she scoots with her feet until she is inevitably off the blanket, and bonks her little nose on the floor. Then she cries in a tone that accuses me of not preparing her adequately for the world that she is trying to squiggle into.

If I don’t immediately go to her, she’s over it soon, when she finds her hand and the thumb that she noms down on for comfort.

This situation is a metaphor for parenting.

No matter how much you prepare for the situation, your kid will always go off on their own, even if you try to keep them from it, and will inevitably bonk their little nose. Usually they’ll find a way to comfort themselves. This is one of the hardest things about parenting, the having to let a child find their own solace, or not being able to cuddle your kid in the event of sadness. But letting your child make their own mistakes and have their own experiences is a part of life.

And don’t worry, they’ll call you if they need you.

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