Navigating your child through danger zones is a full time job, writes Emily Jade.
“Stop! That’s dangerous” is a phrase most parents have yelled at their children at some point in their lives.
Whether they were climbing too high, riding too fast, skipping across a street without looking both ways or watching Sofia the First for the 38 billionth time. Seriously, if Millie requests to watch little purple princess one more time I’m going to run away from home. See, dangerous.
As parents, it’s our job to protect them and ensure they make it to adulthood in the best physical and mental shape possible. But the truth is, danger watch starts as soon as your pregnancy test say’s ‘yup, up the duff’.
Then it’s all about steering clear of offensively dangerous food’s like Brie, ham or salmon sushi, while a swat team of mums-with-experience start swarming your home and tut-tutting your inappropriate interior taste.
Don’t worry; they then take a gleefully evil interest in helping you baby proof every inch of your house. Delighted that you will now suffer the same fate they did. I swear an interior design fairy dies every time a baby is born. Baby proofing basically means all your pot plants and pretty things are banished until the growing baby inside you grows up and leaves for university.
Warning: You may be a little insulted in the beginning, and even refuse to baby proof at first, insisting that you will watch your child like an eagle and educate him or her on what he or she can or can’t touch confident that he or she will be good and listen.
If you do that be prepared for your friends to laugh at you, a lot. When your baby does start moving or, as I like to put it, tearing your house apart, you will firstly secretly blame your husband’s gene pool for your child’s destructive behavior. Then you will learn fast that your primary job as a parent is to be one step ahead of predicting danger.
The good thing is, it is mostly instinctual and very very primal. Danger spotting switches to 11 in your brain as soon as that kid take’s the one-way ticket out of your body. So you can imagine my dismay when I unwittingly sent my Millie on the highway to the danger zone last month.
I sent her to play outside in the backyard. Cue horror movie style music. More specifically I told her to go play in her cubby house. Cue screaming, ‘NO, DON’T GO IN THERE.”
Millie’s Taj Mahal-like cubby rival’s some beach shacks in style and sophistication. White weatherboard on the outside, black and white lino tiles on the inside and simply cute to boot. Lovingly renovated by her Dad, what was once an old garden shed is now a thing to behold, so good my brother has asked to move into it.
One day, after a few to many Sofia episodes, I banished her to abyss of the backyard to get some vitamin D so I could do something important, like look at Instagram on the toilet. After a good solid 10 minutes of alone time in the house a very excited Millie came running from the west wing, and presented me with a very special new friend she had found crawling in the corner of the cubby.
A very un-healthy dose of mind swearing bounced around my brain as I pried her new pet, which she had named ‘Puppy’ from her perfectly healthy little hands.A red-back spider. Needless to say, I have sprayed that cubby with so much bug spray that if a spider doesn’t kill her, the fumes just might.
I know what you are thinking. “Why did you do something so dangerous? Did you hit your head?” I know, I still can’t believe I encouraged her to do something so dangerous, I’ll be more careful next time, I promise.