18 September 2011

Lijah's climbing

Those of you who have been to the playground with us know that I’m not an overly worried mother. My boys are very good climbers, and Lijah is the most avid climber of all of them right now. My rule at the playground is if the boys climb up somewhere that is too high and they need my help down then I’m glad to help them get down, but they’re not allowed to climb up to the same area again that day. This has seemed to work really well for us – the boys usually don’t climb higher than they are able, they are not constantly asking me to come rescue them, and they are quite compliant with my rule about not going back up as high when I do help them down. None of them have ever really gotten hurt on playground equipment, that I can think of. Earlier this summer we were at a playground and I was trying to take a few pictures of each of the boys while they were playing. I was taking pictures of one of the younger boys, when I turned around to find another mother politely asking Lijah if he would please get down (he was sitting on top of the support bars for the swings (it was one of those really tall old metal A-frame swing sets, I’d say over 15 feet high), because she knew that he could climb that high, but she was afraid that her kids might try it too and not do so well.  :)

So, anyway, on Friday I got a call from Lijah’s 1st grade teacher. Apparently Lijah had climbed up the outside of one of those tall spiral tube slides. He climbed to the top, and when his teacher asked him to get down, he jumped off. [At this point in the conversation, I was ready to thank her and tell her I would talk to Lijah about not doing that at school, but then she went on.] So then she said that she asked him if his mother would let him do that, and he said yes. And she said, “If your mother was here and I asked her, would she say the same thing?” And, of course, he said yes again right away. So, then I had to admit that he’s such a good climber that I do let him do that, but that I’d talk to him about not doing it at school. [But Lijah’s a good kid for his school teacher – now that we talked about the playground rules at school, I don’t think there’ll be any problem.] When I told Michael about the conversation later, I just couldn’t stop laughing.

When I told my parents about it, I said I was wondering how long it would be before I got a phone call about one of my kids jumping off the roof at school (yes, that was me in elementary school).

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