My 3 year old is a bit of a daredevil. I guess because he's the third child, a boy and just a little monkey in general. And it's not something I'm relishing in!
From fairly early on, we knew that the 3yr old was going to be more challenging. He just got up to a whole lot more than his big brothers ever did, and he always pushed the boundaries from the get go.
When he was barely 1, Hubby discovered the 3yr old had chipped his front tooth. (That's right. Hubby made this all important discovery. Even though it was I who was spending 24/7 with him - I hadn't even noticed.) There was no particular incident that came to us when wondering how on earth he had done it. Except maybe the pebbles in the backyard. Is it possible he'd bitten down on one and chipped his tooth? Or was it caused by throwing himself down the slide, head first, on to the concrete? (Which his brothers had helped him move there. Thanks guys.)
And then about a year later, when I was tickling him on the couch one afternoon, his head thrown back and his mouth open wide with laughter, I spotted the other front tooth was also chipped. Once again, we could recall no particular incident for it's cause. And who knows how long it had been like that?
Then there was the time he climbed his stroller, stood on it, facing backwards, and pushed on it, causing it to fall backwards. His face hit the ground hard, and his top teeth punctured the inside of his lower mouth, just below his bottom lip. The gash was so large, I rushed him to the hospital. (And I'm not someone who heads to the hospital at the drop of a hat. It has to be deemed serious.) But nothing was done, as the doctor who looked at his mouth in the local hospital's Emergency Department assured me the mouth always heals well, and unless it's flapping about in there, they do nothing. (And it did heal well. And with amazing speed.)
And then late last year, on one Sunday evening, the 3yr old was standing near the table, eating his yoghurt for dessert, and them the next instant he was on the ground, crying and bleeding. When I picked him up, I noticed his left cheek had a huge, deep cut just under his eye. I immediately thought, 'Stitches!' followed by, 'How on earth did he do that?'
The foldout clothes airer was right next to where he'd fallen. It seems he had sliced up his cheek on a sharp edge. (Oh, yes - that's right! No one actually witnessed this incident. Not 1 person out of 4 of us!)
After a 4 hour wait at emergency that night, only to be sent home and asked to come back the next morning, he was knocked out on the operating table the next day with some gas, and had 4-5 stitches put in. He was incredibly brave though. And now we play the waiting game to see how it will heal. (A plastic surgeon performed the surgery - so fingers crossed!)
So you're probably thinking that at least that time he wasn't pulling some stunt..but here's the thing. How on earth did he fall when standing, eating his yoghurt? I have a theory for you: he was standing on one leg. I'm quite convinced of it. I've witnessed it before. He can't do anything without testing the boundaries.
And now his latest challenge is the local park's "spider web".
It's high, which you can't tell from the above picture. But let me assure you, it is. And when he recently decided he wanted to climb it, I was quite certain he wouldn't be able to even get off the ground. But nope, not this little guy. He was up and following the 5yr old, who kindly planned his every move for him and encouraged him all the way, until he got to the first level.
And then the next.
Until he was RIGHT near the top! I can't tell you how much my heart was pounding watching him. And much has been written lately about "helicopter parents" (who hover over their children) and I really don't want to be one of those. So I stood back as much as possible, fists clenched with uncertainty. And I can't tell you how keen I was for him to COME DOWN!
And so, I now live in fear of the local park. I'm avoiding it. Because I know the 3 year old has the climbing bug. Big time. And I'm concerned, if we go there, and going on past experiences, that it may end up with a trip to the hospital. Again.
Wish me luck, people.
Until next time...