We measure our children not in inches, but in drawers. The toddler is now “kid silverware drawer height.” Which means we have colorful plastic Ikea forks and spoons all over the place. He just plops a little arm over the drawer wall, grabs what he can and removes it from what he obviously perceives as a cutlery prison.
Had the firstborn done this, I would have tried to stop it. I would have knelt down beside him, explained why we don’t throw knives around and had him “help” me clean it all up. There is no doubt in my mind this is what would have happened with the firstborn. With the second kid though? Grab the camera and correct the behavior at a later date!
The first time around I thought parenting was all about forming a young mind to be the best human possible. It was a parent’s duty to prepare the child for society. Not even a noble goal really. It all boiled down to the ability to say, “my kid is awesome.” He is, of course, but for different reasons than being presentable.
Second time around, I still have no idea what I’m doing, but the firstborn helped point out some obvious mistakes. With kiddo two the goal is mostly to avoid broken bones. That’s pretty much it for rules.
Messes can be cleaned up. Toys can be fixed. Plastic forks can be washed after I step on them for the fifth time in a row despite knowing full well where they are. I am not sure if the parent mindset with kid two changes from “raise a good kid” to “survive the night”, but it would make sense. The second kid parenting thing, so long as immediate injury is unlikely, feels like a mix of relaxed and completely negligent. I’m hoping to not be alone in this feeling.
He’s quickly coming up on “adult cutlery drawer” height which will likely change my attitude on letting him roam the kitchen freely. I can only hope he’s talking by “junk drawer” height. There are some crazy sharp things in there. It would help if he understood the phrase “no, no, no, that’ll irreparably cut tendons if you put it on the floor.”