Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Looks Like We Have a Jumper!"

Mrs. LIAYF and I had one of those "God, we are terrible parents, aren't we?" moments yesterday. Let me set the scene. Lukas loves to climb. In fact, he is constantly in motion, looking for something to do, or climb up on. Yesterday afternoon while preparing a late lunch both of us were preoccupied with getting some part of this task complete while Lukas roamed and played in our sitting area off the kitchen. We have a sofa there and Luke decided to climb up onto it, stand up and run back and forth.

Normally, we would have rushed over and set him down onto the sofa or onto the floor, telling him he needs to be careful. But this time we didn't, and he was just fine. Next, Lukas decided it would be an interesting experiment in gravity to (standing up) step off the sofa to the floor about 18 inches below. He did this with a knowing smile. The landing, as can be expected, wasn't pretty (think - Wide World of Sports and The agony of defeat) but Luke was just fine. In fact, he popped up with a big smile and immediately climbed back up onto the sofa for another attempt.

Yes, after the first step-off we had quickly went to him to see that he was ok, which as I mentioned he was. This time we glanced at each other with "this boy is fearless" looks, sighs, and raised eyebrows. Again, we are constantly grabbing him before he hurts himself. We have to keep an ever-present eye on what he is doing.

At the point when he climbed up and, with a smile stepped to the edge of the couch for that second 'leap' off, our conversation went something like "Look he's going right back to do that again!, he doesn't seem to worry at all about hurting himself" "That's because we are always there to grab him. Maybe he needs to fall a few times to understand why it's dangerous."

At that point Lukas stepped off the sofa once again with a big smile, landing with a noticeable thud onto the floor below. He didn't cry, but seemed appropriately startled. Mrs. LIAYF and I looked at each other, both understanding at once that it was a bad idea to allow that to happen. "Man, we are bad parents sometimes!" Mrs. LIAYF exclaimed after we had rushed over and picked him up. Luke may be limber at 15 months but he still doesn't know how to properly land when he does fall. No, he wasn't hurt, but we had decided that it was not a good idea to knowingly allow a lesson to be taught to him by allowing him to experience unexpected pain. I mean, what if he had cracked his head open or left some sort of scar? How would we explain that to him later? "Yeah, we remember that. And, by God, you didn't try that trick again!" I don't think he would be amused.

On his third attempt at the sofa (only moments later), we were right there, and told him authoritatively to sit on his bottom while we gently set him down, content once again to leave the hard lessons to those unfortunate bumps that come when we are NOT watching. Thankfully no scars, or trips to the ER this time to remind us of our brief foray into bad parenting!


Whit said...

Crap, if that's your foray into bad parenting I guess I've never been out of it.

A little blood builds character.

Ed (zoesdad) said...

They say experience is the best teacher.

Anonymous said...

Our god son is exactly like Lukas. Fearless and will try anything at least once.

Gosh if that is bad parenting there is hope for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Kids are tough.

You might have a little daredevil on your hands. Keep him away from your local skateboarders.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Whit - LOL, after that Disney photo your boys must have a lot of character.

@Ed - I just don't want it happening on my watch.

@DC - Thanks! Luke wanted to try that leap several times.

@MTAE - He does eye them evertime one rolls by. Plus we have a skateboarding dad and his 2 year old next door. We are not getting around that.

Anonymous said...


This was a good post, but I disagree that it was an experiment in poor parenting. We neophytes have to go down a few paths and backtrack a few times before we find the path that is best for us. If anything, the exploration of those avenues is what helps us become better parents. I can't count how many times we've had to backtrack and start from square one with Cooper before we found what worked best for all of us.

If you hadn't learned from any of your previous parenting adventures with Lukas, and were continuing to use tactics that were ineffective, then it might be worthwhile to question some of your skills. It seems like from everything I've read here, though, that you all have done a stellar job.

Your willingness to reflect and what works and doesn't work, and make changes as parents is what you, Ms. LIAYF, and Lukas will appreciate as time goes on.

I went a little crazy here, but the "bad parenting" was a trigger, for some bizarre reason.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Rob - Thanks for the thoughtful observation. I do think that we are doing a great job overall, but do realize that there are some decisions that we make that could be better thought out.

I'm sure that is the way it is with every new parent, and experienced ones as well. I'm just thankful we can learn from our bad judgements without Lukas getting hurt in the process.

Anonymous said...


You'll learn plenty from mistakes :-) It seems like it's a daily thing for me!

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Thanks for making me feel better ;)