Hover Mode Deactivated

I’ve come to the conclusion that if I want to accomplish anything during the day, I cannot keep hovering over my child. Yes, she’s two. Yes, things happen quickly. But I do not have the time to hover over her every move. Now, I’ve recently come to this conclusion, so I’m still getting used to the decision I’ve recently made as a mother.

The first reason why I cannot hover over my daughter all the time is because it doesn’t teach her independence. It also means I will never get anything done throughout the day. If she’s in the living room watching Frozen or Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, I’m not a bad mom for going into the kitchen to clean it up after breakfast or lunch. I can see her in the living room from the kitchen and if she’s glued to the television, I know she’s not going anywhere. I check on her periodically and she’s either still glued to the television or she’s messing with the television. Do I trust my two-year-old? Definitely not! But is she learning that even though Mommy is not right there, she’ll still get caught doing something? Absolutely!

The second reason I’m learning to stop hovering over my daughter is she has moments throughout the day where that independence I want her to learn is actually showing up. She will go in her room and start playing by herself. That leaves me open to start a load of laundry or fold the load I just took out of the dryer. Granted, there are times where her playing in her room turns into throwing diapers and shoes on the floor, but there’s nothing breakable in her room, so it’s “Clean up, pick up, put away,” time and we go from there.

The third reason why I’m learning to not hover over my child is because I don’t want her to hover over people. She learns her behavior from her parents. I have to realize that as long as she’s under our roof, my husband and I will be the first example she sees of something. My daughter is a strong-willed individual. When it comes to her snacks and toys and television time, she knows what she wants. When she wants to play by herself, she does. When she wants time and attention with her parents, she’s going to get it with no-questions asked. But while she’s off doing her own thing, I’m doing mine. And my thing is usually cleaning up, cooking, attempting to go the bathroom, or trying to do something on the creative side.

The biggest realization for me though about not hovering is the bigger accidents that have happened with my daughter, her father and I were within arms reach to grab her, but she moved faster than we could. I cannot protect her from everything. But if she makes it through the day alive then my job as a mother has been executed well.

Mama’s Baby Girl Pt. I

So, I don’t baby my 21-month-old daughter. If she falls and hurts herself, there are two responses I give her based on the degree of the fall. The first is, “You’re fine, it scared you more than it hurt you.” And she’s up and running again. The second is, “Come here, let me make sure you’re okay.” And her response to that is the main reason why I won’t and don’t baby her. She fights me, or her father, or anyone for that matter when we check for blood, scraps, or any injuries. She goes from crying because she fell, to crying because she got picked up for inspection to make sure she’s okay. And ten times out of ten she’s up and running again before those tears have even dried. She did that when she fell in Jackson Square in New Orleans and she did that when we were home in Alabama and she face planted on concrete from running too fast.

I just don’t baby her, mainly because she hates it. And secondly because I don’t want my child growing up thinking the entire world has to stop when she gets an ouchie. I don’t want her to take something minor and make it major because of the attention she can get from it. She’s an only child and the only grandchild for all her grandparents, so she has more than enough attention. But my firstborn is a sassy, strong-willed, independent, rough and tumble little girl. She gets up after a fall and she goes even harder than before when playing. She laughs more than before the fall. She’s tasted concrete, grass, carpet, and dirt, and survived. She’s done free falls off the couch, fallen of the bed, ran into walls, slipped on hardwood, smashed her fingers, fallen off her dad’s lap while swinging, busted her lip, and the list goes on, and it will go on as she gets older.

If it were left up to me, I would duct tape to her crib and call it a day. But she’d figure a way out of the duct tape and then climb out of the crib. She’s a fighter. She’s determined. She’s a pint size of fierce. She’s a little version of me, and that’s the third and final reason I don’t baby her -I hate that shit!