Thursday, June 2, 2011

Zero Gravity

We've all seen those pictures of astronauts bouncing along happily in zero gravity while they hurtle through space at bone wracking speeds. They are defying gravity, rebelling against science. They have left all their earthly pressures behind and they are living their dream. They are, literally, free from the weight of the world. No wonder they look so happy!

We have a little fella in our house who is seemingly looking for that same kind of bliss. Mischief will not, or maybe cannot, stop climbing things. He has been like this since he was wee. More times than I can count he would come running out of story time at the library and I would lose track of him only to hear the very sweet and understanding librarian say, "Now, Mischief, climbing the book stacks just isn't safe." And there my three year old would be, standing in a triumphant superhero pose, eight feet up in the air.

If it was just the climbing then I could probably deal with it, but its the jumping that comes after the climbing that stops my heart. We used to go to the playground with a group of moms when Crafty started Kindergarten. All of the other two year olds would slide down the slide, play on the bouncers and run around the field. Normal toddler play. Not Mischief. His favourite past time was to run up the slide and jump off the play structure. Apparently the best jumping spot was the platform where the fire pole was ... seven feet off the ground! I remember the first time I saw my wee toddler fling himself off the platform, sail through the air and miraculously land on his feet, unscathed. I ran over to him, checked his limbs for injuries and scolded him for the flying-squirrel maneuver he just performed.

"Its okay Mama, I'm Spiderman" and then he webbed me and ran off.

I had hoped he would grow out of this climbing and jumping thing. I thought that by the time he started school he would understand that climbing shelves, trees, fences and walls just isn't safe and jumping from these lofty heights is even less so but no dice. The little fella has to climb everything ... just to see if he can.

This past weekend our hometown held their annual 'Doors Open' event where churches, historical buildings and government properties opened their doors to the public for tours. Each year we take our kids to a couple of these buildings and usually finish off our day of touring with a stop at one of our favourite places in Winnipeg, The Legislative Building. The kids love the echoing marble halls, the three floors of statues, painting and carvings and the massive banisters at each staircase. We let them walk around and explore as much as they like and generally they are well behaved there.

On Saturday, I was trailing behind everyone after stopping to look at a couple of paintings. When I rounded the corner I saw two of my children literally climbing the walls. So I did what any mother would do ... I snapped a picture then told them to get down. Crafty carefully stepped down onto the bench and apologized for being disrespectful, Mischief jumped down and declared, "That was too easy. Next time I'll go higher!"

Maybe climbing is just in his bones and I need to learn to deal with it. I don't know, I just wish he'd wait a little longer before he chooses a hobby like free climbing our government buildings but I doubt I'll get my way with this one. He is a rough and tumble bundle of fearless adventure ... just like his daddy.

Before I sign off I want to point out one thing about that picture. Notice Mr. Awesome standing just outside the shot. When I asked him what he was doing (as in why did you let them climb that?!) he answered that he was making sure no one fell. It never occurred to him to make them get down, in fact, I'm pretty sure he was trying to figure out how much trouble he would be in if he joined them!

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