When you find out for the first time that you’re having a baby it is both exciting and terrifying. I remember also feeling a little bit of remorse for the life I was leaving behind.
Some people will tell you that your lives will be drastically different and others will tell you to just tell your child “no” and things will be fine. When I was pregnant with M, our house was filled with knick knacks. They were on low tables, medium tables, tall shelves. There were knick-knacks that, when I had a mobile toddler, I was sure she wouldn’t be able to reach. She reached. She climbed and reached those knick-knacks and as I approached her telling her “no no!” she’d smile, wind up, and LOB that precious Hummel figurine at me with glee.
Her behavior disturbed me. My mom was one of the people who told me that all I needed to do was tell my child “no” and that should be fine to stop her from touching things. I was frustrated beyond belief that my beautiful, spunky child so openly disregarded everything I said. I was at a loss. I figured I was failing as a parent less than two years into my new gig. To top it off I was pregnant with another child that I figured I would screw up just as much. I brought up my concern at the ECFE class that M and I were currently in and the facilitator gave me sage advice: put the knick-knacks away if you don’t want them broken.
It seemed a bit like admitting failure, but I packed away my precious Hummels and other decorative objects. I decided I’d rather enjoy my little girl than battle her to save my “things.” The day after I packed away those things my stress level dropped dramatically. I was no longer worried that my collectibles would be damaged. M was free to climb and explore and touch.
Seven and a half years later (and two more kids later) those knick-knacks I packed away are still packed away. I don’t really know what is in that box. I will bring those things back out when D is a bit older. I’ll have all my Hummels out again. I’ve acquired a few more things since then, some of which D has taken to climbing the sofa to touch. She is more patient with me though, and will hand me the object as I come to retrieve it rather than trying to take out my head.
I know the day will soon come that I can have breakables scattered on low tables and shelves and I will almost definitely prefer the need to have them packed away.