There’s a group of mothers of September 2008 babies on Facebook that discuss whatever issues they find salient at the time. I check in every now and then to see what the latest concerns are. One recent issue that’s gotten some traffic and is relevant with Remy is about the babies standing up in the bathtub.
There’s been a variety of parenting philosophies applied to the issue, many of which involve fear of falling and stern disallowance. I admit that I worried at first too, finding it ironic that he seemed more concerned for his welfare when I leaned him back in the water to rinse his hair than when he toddled around in the slippery tub. Then I realized that I stand up in that tub all the time when I shower and that some day Remy will need to learn how to do that safely too. So now I stay near to make sure I can redirect a fall if it takes a dangerous turn or be there to help him back up if he takes a softer tumble. If he feels ready to stand in the tub, so be it. The bigger lesson I hope to support has to do with stretching boundaries, sometimes falling and then getting back up to try again.
I commiserate with the fear and concern that many parents feel when their children try a little past their skill level. It’s like we spend 9 months accepting full responsibility for the welfare on a new human being, then spend the rest of our lives letting go bit by bit by bit. Our children naturally extend themselves beyond their comfort zones to learn new skills, which puts us, as parents, outside of our comfort zones. If we don’t let go fast enough, the children eventually force the issue, with parenting styles and temperaments driving the how’s and when’s of the matter.
Standing in the tub is old hat, though. Gary took Remy in his new birthday Radio Flyer wagon yesterday and looked back to discover the R-Man standing up on several occasions. Hands free. When I took Remy in the wagon a few days ago, he stood hanging on to the sides until I sat him back down. Apparently, he’s gotten a little quicker and bolder in the meantime.
Maybe it’s time to introduce Remy to a skateboard. Seriously. Google “skateboarding baby” and see what you get. Besides, Gary used to skateboard a lot and has been thinking about getting a longboard for himself, which is a thought that takes me out of my comfort zone a bit. He says he was pretty darned good at it, of course that was before the sky diving accident, missing rib and titanium additions to his spinal column. Maybe Remy takes after his Dad in his ability to stay balanced standing on rolling objects.
Oh boy. That sighing sound you here is me letting go bit by bit by bit.