AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: The kid's gonna be alright DATE: 8/24/2009 09:05:00 PM ----- BODY:
I hover. It comes naturally to me. A smidge of control freak mixed in with an annoying amount of always being right sets poor Little Bird up for a lifetime of me up in his business.

Already, I'm consciously trying to let go where I can. He runs in the play area at the pool while I watch without chasing. He climbs up and goes down the Little Tykes slide without me holding his hand. He is learning everyday how to do more without me hovering.

This weekend, I stopped by my favorite maternity store to see what might be on sale and capable of making me feel cute - in other words, miracles. She keeps some toys in a little play area. Bird remembered right where they were and ran to them, leaving me to shop blissfully. It's a very small store, so I didn't think twice about leaving him to play while I tried on tops in the dressing room right next to the play area.

There were also two sisters there with their mother and a little girl who was about three. One of the sisters was pregnant and shopping, the other left to go to the china shop next door, and the grandma was giving fashion advice. Bird and the little girl were playing.

At least, I thought they were.

The little girl looked so sweet in her smocked dress with matching hair bow. It never occurred to me that she was a little three year old piranha.

As I was checking out, Bird came over and stood by me. The little girl followed him and started to whack him in the face with her fists. I let out an instinctive, "No," as I scooped up my child who was just standing there, being pummeled.

It happens. I wasn't upset, and I didn't think ill of the girl or her grandma. It could have just as easily been my child who has thrown a tantrum over a train. I just picked him up, and we moved on. No big deal.

Until we got home and I noticed his arm.

Bright red bite mark. Clear as day. It could have been used to trace her through dental records if needed. That little girl bit my Bird. Hard.

At first, I was all over myself about not watching him closely enough. How could I have let that happen? I made vows all night long to never let him out of my sight again - to never let go of his hand - to never stop hovering.

Then, the next morning, the bite mark was gone.

It dawned on me that he was alright. That really, he was going to be alright.

In a couple of weeks, we go to Mother's Morning Out for the first time. Bird won't just be out of my sight, he'll be out of my reach. I'll pack his lunch and backpack, and drop him off. As in leave him. As in get back in my car and drive away without him.

He might get pummeled. He might get bit on the arm. Or, God forbid, he might be the pummeler or the biter. I don't know what will happen.

But I do know that he is going to be alright.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Jill DATE:Monday, August 24, 2009 at 10:09:00 PM EDT Yes he will. Trust me on this one. Yes he will! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Amo DATE:Monday, August 24, 2009 at 10:31:00 PM EDT My son has started biting and hitting other children and I am mortified!! He just turned one a few days ago. So far, he has only bitten me and my husband, but he has hit several children and adults across the face. I say, "No hitting" over and over, but it hasn't sunk in yet. Your son will be just fine. We have all been the bullies and the bullied at some point in our lives. And here we all are! Some more dysfunctional than others, but we are here!! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous No Minimom DATE:Monday, August 24, 2009 at 11:20:00 PM EDT He really will. It's hard to let go, but you'll both be better for it! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Mem DATE:Monday, August 24, 2009 at 11:23:00 PM EDT letting go will be easier when you have two... i was horrific when stella started school. they let you stand behind a two way window and watch for up to two weeks. all day every day and henry and i watched until they said kara, you have to leave now. stella is doing great- and so am i.
when henry starts in january... i don't think i'll stay to watch past the first day. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Stuart E. DATE:Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 8:17:00 AM EDT Good stuff Marty!
You're right - he will be alright. There is a fine line between protecting/training/parenting and hovering/smothering/controlling... keep working at the balance, he will thank you one day.

Stuart ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous pastormargaret DATE:Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 10:20:00 AM EDT Children have a tendency to grow up in spite of their parents! I remember leaving T in the church nursery and finding seven bite marks on his arms, all from the cutest, most well dressed little girl there. Her parents had tried everything, short of leaving her home, which I thought was an excellent idea. Bird's got spunk. He'll be fine--and so will you. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Susie DATE:Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 8:40:00 PM EDT Toddlers can be such beasts to younger toddlers - that "sweet" little girl was trying to tell her who's boss and to Bird's credit, he didn't stoop to her level. Next time, make sure he has a train in his hand. That'll teach her to bite... ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Susie DATE:Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 8:41:00 PM EDT Oh, and you and your Mom have just proved my theory that nicely dressed children are viewed as being better behaved which is why I always dress my guys up a bit when we go out in public (except for Whole Foods, that is). ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Jessica DATE:Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 1:01:00 AM EDT Something about having more than one really makes you *realize* just how tough they are. At the risk of sounding condescending, it get so much easier to do the little letting go steps with a toddler when there is a baby in contrast with him.

Of course, that's where the whole "baby in the family" thing probably comes in. No contrast to make letting go easy means my littlest man is bound to be a momma's boy. Eh, I can think of worse character traits to hand to his future wife. ;-) ----- --------