When it comes to your kids, you don’t know what you don’t know

For instance, I had no idea that Elliot is incapable of slitting open an envelope.  He basically has to mangle it to get out whatever is inside.  Who knew?

With Meredith, we’ve had two examples recently of her exhibiting behavior that I wouldn’t have thought possible.  Both times she acted exactly opposite to any training and planning and rules that we had established. The first episode happened when she opted to self-medicate her sore bottom. But instead of getting corn starch (which we used instead of baby powder when she was little) she applied baking soda, (baking soda that she needed to climb onto my granite counters and tippy toe reach off the highest shelf).  So not only did she endanger herself unnecessarily with the climbing but then she caused a chemical reaction on her already sore bum.  Pitiful. My biggest concern (of the many in this scenario) is that if she is so quick to self medicate in an ignorant state what’s to stop her — when she gets, say, a head ache — from going to my bathroom and taking what she thinks is ibuprofen, because that’s what mom takes, only to overdose on whatever vitamin or medication happens to be in reach?

The second incident happened just last week while I was on the third floor and both kids were on the second floor. The doorbell rang, and in the time it took me to walk down the stairs and across the house Meredith had unlocked the door for a complete stranger.  I heard her ask, “Who is it?” which is normal protocol. But when I rounded the corner I saw her standing with the door ajar.  “Who is it?” I asked her, as I descended the stairs.  “I don’t know,” was her reply.  I got to the landing and I saw an unknown man standing on my porch.  A fuse or two may have blown in my mind. Thankfully he was a National Grid employee in full uniform and carrying a clip board, but come on!! I have no idea what the man said or what he was looking for. I basically told him we were all set and shut the door. I then proceeded to calmly but sternly go up one side of that girl and down the other. I’m still pretty frosted about the whole thing.  What if I hadn’t been home?  What if he was not a good person?  What if, Wombat?  Sigh.

While both occurances ended harmlessly enough, they are enough to really make us question her judgment and her maturity.  You see, she is an old soul, and she gives off the impression of maturity. She speaks confidently, even when her information is faulty.  And she desperately wishes to be older than she is.  And wiser than she is.  And more experienced than she is. We have to keep reminding ourselves that she is young.  We have to keep reminding ourselves that we don’t know what we don’t know.

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