Now that Staley is mobile and exploration is the key to her happiness, our role as parents has amped up a degree. We have entered the parenting world of boundary setting. We want Staley to explore her world, examine her surroundings, and discover how things work. We are okay with messes. We are okay with extra clean up. We are okay with the occasional bump or bruise. We are trying to keep our off-limit activities to those that are unsafe, unsanitary, or that will pose problems in the future. Emptying clothes drawers? No problem. Emptying BBQ utensil drawer? Unsafe. Pulling to stand and playing at the refrigerator? Sure thing. Pulling to stand and playing at the toilet? Unsanitary. Removing DVDs from the rack? Fine for now, but poses a problem in the future when Staley learns to open DVD cases or gets tall enough to pull the top row of movies down on herself. Unstable tables, glass knick knacks, lamps, cords, cat food bowls, stairs,...why are all the most fun things off-limits??
Unfortunately, with our boundaries, we've had to add a new word to our parenting vocabulary. "No!" And Staley has already discovered that she does not like this word. When she is crawling towards or playing with an off-limits item and we say 'No!', she will generally stop, look back at us, and continue on her way. However, when we remove her from the area or take away her off-limits item, the drama sets in. I hope this isn't a preview of future melt-downs and tantrums, because her lower lip, big tears, and tortured cry would make one think that the only thing in the whole wide world that Staley ever wanted to do was stand at an unstable table and play with a lamp. And being the boundary setting parents we now are, we must stifle that dream and just say 'No!'