Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My Daughter is Not Brave

Sigh. I can’t say that I’m surprised, but I was really holding out hope. Her dad is brave. Not the kind of brave that is reckless and stupid. But, adventurous. Chivalrous. Athletic. Like, he kills scary bugs for me. Or goes first down the steep and rocky trail and then holds my hands to help me down. He would really like to try Heli-skiing. And Scuba Diving. He’d probably even parachute or bungee jump. Shudder.

I am a giant wuss. I have been since day one. I never attributed this particular personality quirk to parenting until I was pregnant and my aunt said something to me along the lines of, “Make her braver than we all are, Ok? We’ve created two generations of scaredy cats.”

And then I was like, “Woooohooo!! Something else I can blame on other people, AND something I can prevent.” Because, you see, I had not yet given birth to this small person. And so I still believed that my skills as a parent would define her.

Baaahahahahaha. Heh. Heh. Heh. Sigh.

Anyhoo…I clearly remember putting my brave husband in charge of making our daughter adventurous and athletic and all that. And for a time it seemed like he was doing his job. From about 15 to 20 months that kid was fearless with a capital F. Climbing stuff, jumping off stuff, investigating stuff. But then a switch must have gone off, because that is all over. Over I tell you. Now she is scared of everything.

Take today for example. This morning she ran from the bathroom with her hands over her ears when I turned on my blow dryer. I told her I was going to vacuum and she shrieked and cried. (I told her I would wait until later and she asked me every 3 minutes, “Mommy, vacuum?”) There was a fly in our kitchen that made her cry. And then, the mother of all freak outs happened tonight on our boat. There were some ducks that swam over to see if we had food, and one hen got pretty brave. She actually flew up onto the back of the boat. Which made Sweet Pea go completely ballistic. I mean, she was screaming bloody murder for a good 3 minutes. I think the poor duck went into shock. And really, it startled me too, but Sweet Pea thought that duck was going to eat her on the spot. I’m quite certain of it.

Anyway, it makes me sad. Not because of ego. I don’t care if other people think she’s a chicken. I just remember as a kid all the times I wanted to join in on some fun activity that my cousins or friends were doing, but being too afraid to do so. There were bees to worry about. Or ice to slip on. Or bigger rougher kids.

And I know, she’s only two. She could change her mind tomorrow and start giving me fits again because she’s such a daredevil. So I’m not going to get all worked up about it. But man, I sure wish I could make the world a less scary place for her.

And on a Happy Note

We welcomed a new baby into our family yesterday. I have a new nephew. He is my husband’s sister’s first born. Fourth grand-baby on our little branch of the family tree.. He is very cute with blonde hair and blue eyes. He looks like his daddy, with the exception of those unmistakable lips. Just like all the cousins. So we do, in fact, know who his mamma is.

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