Here’s Why Other Parents Think We’re Nuts.

Over the weekend the unbelievable heat subsided, so we took those kids to the park.  I was all for it, because my back was still tender and I knew that Park = Turn the Kids Loose and Sit on the Bench. 

Greg and I are not overly cautious parents.  Our floor is a veritable food buffet for the kids.  They wrassle freely with the dog and we don't force them to soak their hands in alcohol afterward.  Antibacterial soap is only found at our kitchen and bathroom sinks.  Once a week or so I bleach the bathrooms, but that's about it.  We operate on the theory that moderate doses of germs, like anything, are good.  We're the same with risks.  We know our kids are going to fall and get bumped and bruised, and we're not the kind to rush in and coo to them when they do.

We are so badass.

Well, except when we think something is REALLY wrong.  The other night we were minding our own business when we heard a crash in the bathroom followed in short order by Laurel's ear-splitting wail.  While Laurel has been known to fall prey to histrionics in the past, this sounded serious.  We rushed in, but the door was locked.  Greg yelled for her to unlock it if she could, but received no response aside from the aforementioned wailing, so he unlocked the door himself and there she was, standing there crying at the top of her lungs, with the shower curtain rod lying next to her on the floor.  I don't think we have the full story even now, but it seems the disaster began with her standing on the ledge of the bath tub (we chose — wisely, I think — not to delve into the why of this).  She fell against the toilet on the way down, hitting her back.  If that weren't enough, the curtain rod had the audacity to fall atop her. 

I will also admit to watching Ethan's pupils a little more closely for a few hours after he took an especially nasty head-first fall from the arm of the sofa.

Anyway, my point is, we intervene when really necessary but are pretty lackadaisical over the everyday routine kid-related injuries.  Therefore, I imagine it is difficult for other parents at the park to explain why their son or daughter, clearly older than Ethan, is not allowed to do the following (mouse over for descriptions):

1. Climb the weird ladder;2. Climb the other weird ladder;3. Climb to the top of the twisty slide (look closely, he's there); and4. Slide down the twisty slide.

Other, less provocative scenes from the park:

Laurel, nearly parallel to the ground.ROCKET MAN!

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In other news, today is the first day of school for Laurel and the first day back in class for me.  Laurel is more apprehensive than she will admit, I think. She says she's "just a little nervous, which is normal."  Sunday night we attended a picnic and Greg and I were hurt watching her sit by herself eating her dinner (the kids were grouped together and the parents were grouped together).  We didn't really intervene, because we want her to have the tools to handle these situations herself.  Still, it's hard to be thrust into a completely new situation — we completely empathize — and that's exactly what she will have today.  She's in a new program in a new school in a new district.  While PEGS has held meets-and-greets and the like, I know it will be tough on Laurel to walk down an unfamiliar hall the first day of school, trying to find her way.  I know she will be thinking of and missing the friends and familiarity she's leaving behind at Fox, but I think she understands a whole new world of opportunities has just opened for her.

I am probably saying this for me as much as for her, but I trust she can handle it. 

She'll do just fine.