It looks worse than it is; honestly....
Updated: Jul 10, 2021
This week Rosalind took a bit of a fall.
At the beginning of the week I took a day off work; and as a family, we went to a couple of National Trust properties for a walk. We have had National Trust membership ever since before Rosalind was born; Charlotte bought it for me as a Christmas present after we went on holiday to Cornwall over our wedding anniversary and I complained about nearly every car park being National Trust and charging £4 for us to park. (Total disclaimer: I dispute the fact that I complained about EVERY carpark – at the most it was 1 or 2…)
Anyway. One of my longstanding habits since the purchase of our NT membership has been to ensure that we visit enough places regularly enough to ensure that we get the “value” of the membership back. That’s proven somewhat more difficult with the Coronavirus pandemic, and so; now that things are beginning to open up more, I am keen to get back to visiting National Trust properties as often as we can.
At one of the places that we visited, there is a long stone path that goes through the formal garden. It runs from the house down to a lovely water feature; and it is an ideal place for taking pictures. I like taking lots of photos of both Rosalind and Charlotte; and so I encouraged Rosalind to run along the path to Charlotte who knelt down on the path with her arms out.
What I didn’t bank on was that toddlers don’t have the best balance. Naturally, Roz managed to go head over heels on the path, and came away from the incident looking like a mini member of the World Wrestling Federation….
It should go without saying that Charlotte was not impressed.
I have felt appropriately awful since; made much worse, if I’m being totally candid, by every time I look at Rosalind. Her lip is healing, and the two scratches on her button nose aren’t as red as they were, but I still get a pang of guilt every time I look at her. In truth, even the fact that she doesn’t seem bothered by the incident kind of makes me feel worse too.
I guess though, that’s kind of part and parcel of being a parent, isn’t it? That feeling of always thinking that we aren’t doing our best, or that we have let our children down – that we should be doing better. Granted, I really should have done better – I shouldn’t have encouraged a wobbly 2 year old to go running down an uneven concrete path; but ultimately, as parents, we can’t forsee every possible incident or accident, and we can’t protect our children from them.
The only thing that I can hold on to; and the one piece of wisdom that I can leave you with for this fortnight is this:
the best preparation you can have in life is knowing how to deal with the “fall” out.
I couldn’t really have stopped Roz from falling over – and actually, in my heart of hearts (although I feel guilty), I know that it isn’t the worst thing that she did. The key lesson is that she knew she was safe immediately after it happened. She was comforted, cleaned up and appropriately calmed down (by the addition of a few contraband chocolate buttons) by both Charlotte and I post fall; and three days after, she is totally and utterly unbothered by what happened to her.
She is still climbing furniture in precarious ways and regularly trying to escape the property through the front door. Her zest for being a toddler and her unbridled enthusiasm for anything and everything dangerous has not been curtailed. And that’s the point of being a parent, in all honesty. To prepare your children for the consequences of life – not to cosset them from them.
Rosalind will grow up knowing how to make choices – how to decide whether something is a risk worth taking, and importantly, knowing that when you fall down, the important thing isn’t the fall, but how you pick yourself up and carry on (even if you still need chocolate buttons as an adult).
That’s all from me for this week.