I both love and hate the fact that Diva is so entirely fearless.
On the plus side, she thinks nothing of making friends with spiders (all called Tom or Ella) and when given a baby crocodile to hold, she asked if she could hold one of the big ones instead. She is also entirely willing to give most things a go and takes no crap from anyone (although I have recently become very aware that her ‘telling off’ voice and face match my own. Oh dear!)
On the downside she thinks nothing of walking off on her own, and very rarely even looks to see if I am following.
Today I was discussing with a fellow parent the fear when children just wander off without a parents knowledge. I was stating my astonishment that some parents don’t seem to worry about this…just as Diva disappeared around a corner some distance away and had to be retrieved.
It has taken me a really long time to get Diva to understand the importance of safety near roads and cars, and I have to say, it’s a difficult balance to maintain. Where do you draw the line between making sure your kids are safe but not going so far that they become terrified of all things? My hope is that we will find a happy medium where she’s totally prepared to take on those ‘Under-the-Bed’ monsters but understands it’s not a good idea to run with scissors.
She had a good bit of inspiration today from an elderly, fearless lady, who had no problems asking us if we would be leaving the cafe soon. She was meeting some friends and wanted to know if she should meet them elsewhere. Not that she wanted to rush us or anything, it’s just they would be there soon and wasn’t it a pity the weather was bad and the children couldn’t play outside. She then asked us, incredulously, if all the children were ours. I can understand why: three parents, three toddlers and two babies. I mean, my God! Does the government allow such a ratio? I admit that in the run up to this encounter, Bruiser had managed to smash a plate on the floor. But she wasn’t even present when that bit of bad parenting happened AND I diligently swept up all the pieces along with any offensive crumbs. I suppose the girls were chatty but very well behaved and not one adult had told a rude joke (or at least I don’t think they had…sometimes I need those explaining).
Tempted as I was to stay and make some sort of point about rights for parents and children to drink and eat in public places alongside elderly, rude people, we were actually in the process of leaving. With stunned, awkward pleasantries, we gathered our rowdy brood of children and left.
At that point the cafe was pretty empty. However, when we passed a little bit later on, we saw our new friend at her table, but the cafe was no longer pretty empty. It was now packed with people. A large number of them being families, with children, lots of children. Sweet justice. We nearly went back in to ask if we could join them, but Diva had run off again so…