Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I need a coffee [table] break

Such a happy girl! Bouncing, clapping, squealing.
She dances and then bends down, touches her toes, then stands up to reach for the sky.

Look at me! her laugh seems to say. She's so excited with her movements, her freedom, her abilities.

But Mommy says, "No!"

Mean Mommy.



It's just... she's on top of the coffee table! She loves it up there, but it's not okay to dance and prance atop of a table, right?

Right?

Or is this just another one of those "rules" that are there just because adults say they should be, but they don't really matter? A fall from the coffee table would hurt, sure. But I let her climb and dance on the sofa. And the chairs. And her little wooden stool. Falling from any of them would hurt too, but I'm willing to watch her and let her climb and perhaps even take a tumble now and again because it's all part of growing. So... why the issue with the coffee table? It's not like it's a nice piece of furniture (in fact, if she were to wear off its ugly crackled yellow/gold paint, I might like it better!) and it's sturdy. It can handle a one year old doing the macarena.

As a parent, I know (well... I've read) that I'm supposed to be setting limits for her so she doesn't feel out of control. And both Justin and I are helping her to learn that it's not okay to hit or bite, pull the cats' tails, nor stand up in the high chair and toss food down to the animals. But does it mean I have to tell her not to dance on the coffee table? I don't know.

I honestly don't care that she's up there. It's just... well, I don't dance on the coffee table. But does that mean I must tell her not to? She does a lot of things I don't do [anymore], and I do a lot of things she doesn't do [yet]. And that's okay.

Maybe I should cultivate my own dancing skills and stop worrying so much about my daughter's.

Tell me. Is it okay to dance on the coffee table? (Or just on the couch/chairs/stools/bed/floor?)

3 comments:

Auntie Emily January 27, 2010 at 1:54 PM  

Is she going to decide everyones coffee table is ok to climb on? I would think every thing that is alike is going to get the go ahead and do it signal when you're out and about, some people might appreciate that she not climb on their coffee tables. Not that other people get to decide what she does at home, She has coutches and stools and chairs to dance on. There's no harm in learning "we don't stand on the table".

Tara January 28, 2010 at 12:02 PM  

I say yes! Dance till her heart is content! Our coffee table has a much more "distressed" look since B worked her magic on it, but that's okay:)

montessorimatters February 13, 2010 at 9:42 AM  

I always say that there has to be a "why" associated with each rule. So... If she's not allowed to dance on the table b/c she could fall and get hurt, then that's a valid rule. But if she can climb and dance on chairs and the sofa, which are probably just as high or higher than the coffee table and pose the same hazards, then it's just an arbitrary and unfair rule. Dance away, little one!

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