Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I Do All My Own Stunts.

Toddler Stunt Kit (toddler not included)


I don't think anyone saw me as a "risk-taker" early in my life. Oh, wait, there WAS that time I jumped out of the second-floor hay loft onto the ground below, just to see if I could. Somehow I didn't really consider that gravity is largely a constant. In general, though, I was a bit shy and tended to play things safe. From what I can tell of Laura, she has always been very much that way.

So, where did this kid come from? He was gestated in slaughterhouses, listening to the Caribbean and Latino music played by the migrant workers there (Laura is a USDA veterinarian). Did that setting provide Laura with a slow and steady flow of adrenaline? Was my baby born a true adrenaline junky? 

Was it her pre-natal cravings for curry? 

His ride-on car has become a Monster Truck. He pops a little wheelie, and bounces/ pounces on his target- floor puzzle, the tupperware of mega-blocks, train and car tracks (bridges are especially at risk), or maybe the Basket of Inevitable Randomness. He used to just plow these things over with his feet, which earned him the nickname "Jayzilla". Now, he has become a tool user. The car does more damage in less time, and at least sometimes, spares his feet from injury (although I have been kissing an awful lot of dirty socks lately).

The current favorite stunt is to pop the car onto the aforementioned megablock tupperware, and bounce. And bounce, and BOUNCE. Again. Again.



At this point, it has become background noise to us.

He will occasionally slide off, crashing sideways onto the floor, crumpled beneath the car. We'll hear a little voice from way down low, behind the table...

"I'm okay."

And, occasionally,

"I'm stuck."

He's getting pretty good at the all-important self-assessment. There are three possible diagnoses:

1. "I'm okay."

2. "Kissy?"

3."Ice, please."

Other games, previously mentioned in other installments of this blog, include Springboard Daddy, which goes exactly how it sounds, and Crutch Slide, exactly how it sounds. Add in the excitement of randomly discovered hazards, and a truly frenetic and constant dance style, and my biggest challenge becomes NOT turning into a helicopter parent. I try to manage his options so that nothing lethal is available, and let him work things out.

Today I will be shopping for a Toddler Stunt School. I want to visit some tumbling classes, in the hopes that someone can teach him a few things about safe take-offs and landings. I feel like I'm enrolling him in flight school. Dance school is also a possibility, but I think he needs to be at least three to get in, and with good reason. His ability to stand still and listen is pretty limited. 

In the meantime, hopefully I can find a how-to-crash class that will keep him in one piece until then.

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