I’ve been away from blogging far too long. I still keep up with reading my favourite blogs, but it takes a lot more effort these days to write.

I’m loving how busy our little ONE-YEAR OLD is now…I can’t believe she is one! She’s not quite walking on her own but she may as well be – she’s faster than a bullet and into everything she can get herself into. It’s fun, exhausting and scary all at once.

As an example of scary, yesterday she lost control of her 0walker/activity centre and wiped out on ceramic tile flooring. As a result we experienced our first tooth-through-the-lip moment. Oy.

As if that wasn’t enough, later in the day, as she was furniture surfing happily, I stepped into the kitchen to grab some crackers and was startled back into the living room by a CRASH…baby had knocked over a thin, hall table which held a lamp, a phone and a framed photo. To my sheer horror, I saw that the table was on top of her.  I lurched at the table, pulled it off, snatched up the baby and yelled to my husband, who had already appeared after hearing the crash.

We didn’t end up going to the hospital, but she has a black eye. Can you imagine if we’d gone to emerg and presented our daughter with a fat lip AND a black eye?? No thanks.

In all seriousness, if we thought she needed treatment we’d be at emergency in a heartbeat, but the crying stopped within one minute and it was back to life as we know it.  She is completely fine.  Note to self: time to bolt all furniture to the walls!

But here’s the thing…I’m struggling with this phase in our girl’s development because I’m not, by nature, a hoverer.  I like to give our daughter space, love watching her explore, and want her to test her boundaries and challenge herself to try new things. 

It is a fascinating period for a child…everything is SO new.  I envy the wonderment in her face when she watches snow fall or a bird land at the feeder.  I giggle right along with her when she climbs up the stairs on her own.  And my heart beams with pride when she figures out how to place a puzzle piece on her own. 

Unless she is in immediate danger, I don’t want to be the parent who constantly tells her child, “No!” or, “Don’t touch!” So, when she is climbing onto the hearth – which is only a foot off the floor and covered by a blanket -rather than reacting with a “No” and scooping her up, I tell her calmly but sternly if she climbs up, she may fall down.  Many times, but not always, she teeters…and then falls.  Most times, I’m fast enough to catch her or cushion her fall, but I few times I am not.  Her landing is soft: rubber, interlocking mats…but still, sometimes she cries.  And then she gives me this looks as if to say, “Why didn’t you warn me?!”

I tell her, smiling, “Pretty soon you will learn to believe what Mommy tells you.”  And then we wipe away tears, have a quick kiss and playtime continues.  In the end, I think she’s better off having learned the hard way that climbing up results in falling down.  I truly believe she is satisfied with her efforts and momentary independence, even if it ended with a thud.

The poor kid looks like a boxer – bruises, cuts and scrapes, fat lips and black eyes.  I don’t like that she hurts herself – it breaks my heart – but I do like that she is trying to be brave and find out on her own what she can and can’t accomplish.  It’s adorable.  If a kid is going to learn to be a kid, it includes a few knocks along the way. 

Today at an indoor play centre our little monkey climbed through a tunnel for the first time, unscathed.  I could tell she was unsure, maybe even scared to do it, but after looking at it for over an hour she finally just did it, and she was SO proud!  Then she attempted to climb onto a little car and fell and twisted her leg – go figure.  You win some, you lose some.

On a related note, a Facebook friend posted this link today about “idle parenting” being better for kids, and I chuckled – I’m not sure I adhere to the principle that ignoring your child may be the best thing you can do for her exactly, but the UK author has a point – perhaps it’s time to step back, chill out and let them play. Oh, and stop cramming our kids’ days with so many things to do.  It’s worth a read.

Ironically, the only hovering I seem to be doing these days is over our girl’s crib at night while she sleeps.  Before I go to bed, I check in on her and I find myself watching her for a long, long time.  It’s like I can’t take my eyes off her.  I feel like we’ve reached the end of  the tiny baby era and I’m trying to burn the image of her innocent little face into my memory.  Why, oh why, must they grow up so fast?

On that note, I’d better go hover one last time before bed.