Peanut has one of those board books with wheels on it – a book and a car? Can’t beat it in the eyes of my child.
In this particular book is a picture of a motorcycle with the text “Motorcycles are fun to ride.” He received the book at Christmas and I read it a few times as “Motorcycles are dangerous to ride” partly as a joke. The hubby chided me, so after only two or three times or reading it as “dangerous,” I read the real text. Only peanut, in typical toddler fashion, corrected me and said, “no, mommy, motorcycles are dangerous.” Oops.
Now, every time we look at this particular book, I have to explain that motorcycles are fun, but can be dangerous so you have to be careful and wear a helmet. Now, when we see motorcycles on the road, he points and announces “Be careful!”
Part of me feels horrible that I’ve completely jaded this little boy who should have the world at his feet to experience and learn from. I don’t want him to grow up afraid or fearful. I want him to take (appropriate) risks and feel the adrenaline rush of success and accomplishment.
Another part of me, and maybe the bigger part, is relieved. Relieved that maybe I’ve planted a seed to keep him from trying at least one potentially dangerous behavior. Relieved that maybe I’ve saved myself just one sleepless night. Relieved that I still have such an obvious influence.
Oh, this parenting business doesn’t get any easier. Maybe I should start telling him girls are icky…