When my oldest child was two months old, my husband and I schlepped across the country with almost everything we owned so as to show my parents their second grandchild. Those of you who have travelled with an infant know my pain. You could have fit a family of 4 in our suitcase, let me tell you. Over the years, the trauma of that trip has faded, but one memory has remained; it is nearly as freshly etched today as it was 9 years ago. A college friend stopped by to see us and I was amazed at how her 3 boys just climbed all over her.
“That is insane,” I thought. Why on earth would any parent let a child use him/her as a jungle gym? Such pondering is easy to do when your infant is readily contained in a car seat. Of course, anyone with a 3 year old knows that answer.
You let them in order to do something else. Like have a conversation, or eat a sandwich, or use the toilet, or iron a dress shirt. (Just joking on the last one.)
My youngest is now 3 and loves to scale me as if he were part goat or mountaineer and I am a handy mountain crag. And although I complain when his tiny fingers begin to crush my larynx, I often ignore his antics for far longer than I ever thought possible. It is simply amazing what a parent can overlook in hopes of less noise, less crying, less tantrum-ing. And if you don’t believe me, just wait awhile. Those little people have a way of wearing a soul down more effectively than any water torture invented.
I can’t even count how many times I’ve let my kiddos do something that is so out of character for me so as to cause raised eyebrows. Like the time I let the youngest have his dessert from the night before – for breakfast. (Angel food cake, vanilla ice cream and Sprite, if you are curious.) Or the times my husband gets home and there are more Legos or Littlest Petshop critters gracing our coffee-table. My answer is always the same, “sorry, they just wore me down.”
A girl can get mighty tired of being clambered over in a day.