Its dawned on me recently that as hard as I work to raise my children they will invariably meet other people someday and all my hard work is going to go right out the window. Or at least it will be challenged in such a way that I can merely pray I laid a strong enough foundation to keep the whole darn building from falling to the ground.
At first its the little things - stuff like lollipops and reckless running. Yes. I know, I am mean and overprotective. I do not let my son run through Gymboree with a Dum-Dum lollipop dangling precariously from his jaw. But apparently, you see, I'm wrong because at the same moment I was making my child cry in one of those "but I want my way!" tantrums as I took his lollipop away from him, other children were preparing to ride on the parachute with white sticks dangling out.
We have a simple rule in our house about "pops." One can not have a lollipop unless one's butt is planted firmly in a chair or a lap. Simple. The moment that little butt wants to start moving the pop must be handed over to the nearest adult. We also don't let the boy slobber away on a lollipop for long because I have this fear of him breaking off large chunks and choking. He has some then it magically disappears into the trash.
So here we were yesterday in "Gym class" and the lollipops came out of hiding. Logan sat nicely with me to have his until he realized it was bubble time. At that point he dutifully turned to me and said "Ok, you take this now." I wrapped it up tight in its wrapper and followed him to the main mat - now parachute covered. Logan then saw the others with their pops and he wanted to hold his. He grabbed it back and argued his case strongly - "I not eat it. I just hold it. See," he said as he held it up still wrapper covered. "I just sit on parachute and hold it."
But I am bigger than him and so the lollipop ended up in my pocket and he in my arms as we worked through his tears and protests. "Honey, I don't want you to get hurt. If you run while you have your pop and fall, well that just wouldn't be good. I just want you to be safe. Ok." And it was ok. Tears stopped, boy went and chased bubbles.
Then he sat because it was time to ride the "chute." He asked once for his pop back and I once reminded him that it wasn't going to happen. And that's when it hit me - this whole thing about other people screwing with my life lessons. Just as I finish telling my child no to the lollipop another child goes tearing across the floor -- mouth blue with candy dye and stick dangling from his lips. Logan just looked at the kid and then at me. I then counted them. There were five kids running or riding the parachute with a lollipop in the mough. At one point the blue mouthed child tore across the moving parachute - a no-no on a nonfood day - and nearly fell as he hit the incline. The mother to my left and I snapped the fabric quickly in an effort to right the tripping child before one of us had the chance to snag his arm and hold him up. He never fell but the mere through of what could have happened had he pitched head first into the mat below with that thing in his mouth - scary.
And there rode my child. . . actually not even blinking at what could have seemed totally unfair. He just went with it. Yet he's two. He just goes with it now because he's two and I'm mom and so that's all that we need to know. What is scary is the future. . .but we won't focus on that just yet. For now I'll sit and marvel at how its ok for other two year olds to run with hard candy and sticks in their mouths.