How do you feel when you see your walking toddler – who just learned how to walk – fall down onto the floor for the first time?
Me, a first time dad, would quickly go to him , carry him up and give him a comforting hug and kiss. Ever since Kenji boy started to walk, I never left my eye off him, unless he was sleeping away in his hammock. When everyone in the house is enjoying the drama on the TV in the evening, I would be the one chasing after him as he was going round the house, even doing some climbs or stunts. I was that paranoid and anxious that something might happen to him during his adventures.
Even as he gradually becomes bolder in taking his steps nowadays, the nervousness in me hasn’t left. My actions have caused my boy to cry for me whenever he falls down, even sometimes it was just a minor fall. I’m glad that wifey pulled me aside and talked to me about it. It finally dawned on me that I might be over-paranoid about him falling down. I want him to know that he should get up by himself when he falls down. Papa will not always be around to help and carry him.
As I said, we were at my mother in law’s house last week. The living room is connected to the kitchen with a step. Over the past weeks, I was running after him whenever he approached the step because I was afraid that he would tumble over the steps, and hurt himself. I’d help or carry him over the step to help him arrive to the other side safely. After being enlightened by wifey, I told myself not to do that anymore.
I looked at him intently as he walked over the steps, he tumbled and fell to the floor. He cried for the rescue. I went to him, and tell him,”Don’t cry, it’s ok. Stand up and walk again”. I gave him a kiss as encouragement. He stood up, loitered around the kitchen and back to the step again. Again, he tumbled down clumsily. My heart is skipping a beat, breaking down at any second, couldn’t bear seeing my beloved boy falling down again and again.
‘It’s ok. Stand up and walk to papa”, I pacified him. He did not cry, but looked at me. I smiled at him, and eventually he stood up and continued with his adventure. I couldn’t recall how many times he had fallen that day, but towards the evening when he moved towards the step, I saw him doing this…
He grabs the sides of the wall, and carefully take one step down, and another. He finally made it. I almost burst into tears when I saw that. The one day of falling and tumbling exercise is making him to think, and he has sought a way out. I was actually expecting him to get onto ground on his four, and crawl into the kitchen as a way, but he did not resort to that and found another way to cross the border. I know that I have to capture this picture on his second attempt. My boy is doing me proud!
This incident not only benefited Kenji boy but myself as a new parent. As Kenji boy continues to learn, I realize that I could not hold him too tight. I would like to see myself letting him go, letting him to explore on his own while I keep a closer look at him. Most parents always see the danger part in the early days of their children. Some of us might became too concern or paranoid about the child getting hurt, but if we continue in such a way, we might be letting go a sea of opportunity for the child to learn and grow up. Anyway, falling down is part of the bits and pieces of the growing up puzzle. We only know how to stand up stronger after a fall. Cheers