It’s amazing to watch your child develop into a toddler. The pride that comes from watching their first steps is immense and something that I could never fully describe in words. Your heart swells and you start to think that maybe, just maybe, your life will get a little easier now that they can move around unaided.
For me, this lasted probably a couple of hours… until I started to notice how dangerous and terrifying the world is. There are so many hazards. Things you’d never have even thought of, and things that actually probably aren’t hazards at all but still terrify you to your very core.
BG got to grips with toddling quite well. She had been cruising comfortably around furniture from around 10 months old. A couple of weeks after her first birthday, we went on a play date with our twin friends from Guidebook Baby. Those guys were comfortably walking and BG essentially had a lightbulb moment, thought “oh, that’s what we do” and just started walking – right there at softplay. It was a very proud moment.
Until I got home to realise how many sharp corners, things at head height, things in grabbing distance, cupboards that now had reachable handles and how many trip hazards there were in my house – cue a rearrangement of our living room furniture and the purchasing of several “baby proofing” tools to keep cupboards shut. Oh, and stairgates…
Once BG had mastered walking, it soon became clear that climbing came as second nature to her… she climbs EVERYTHING. This child has NO fear. Zero. (I personally thinks this bodes well for when she’s big enough for rollercoasters – I will have a coaster-buddy!).
Now at 21 months BG is a very accomplished mover & climber. I have noticed that I’ve been through some kind of transition that you’d normally see in a superhero movie where all my senses have been heightened. My super power? Continual scanning of the “perimeter” and areas surrounding my child to find potential dangers – it’s exhausting! When did the world become so scary? Have I missed something in my adult life pre-motherhood? It’s like some kind of minefield out there except instead of IDEs, it’s trip hazards, things to bang your head on, things to fall off and things to scuff your knees on.
We are 9 months into the movement phase now and I have started to reduce my “on guard” state and relax a little more into watching BG play and explore. I’m not convinced the threat level of the world will be reduced any further any time soon – for now I think we’ll remain at an Amber Threat Level. Given that it’s summer, the weather is lovely and BG is an “outdoors” child, I think there will be scuffed knees for the foreseeable future.
Does the threat level ever fully diminish? Do you ever come down from this heightened state of, well, fear that something will harm your precious baby? Does the world ever seem completely “safe”? Someone out there must know…