It’s true what they say. Kids really do grow fast. One day you’re cradling baby in your arms, and the next you’re watching them crawl towards kitty’s litter. Welp. From the moment they’re able to slink out of your arms, babies and toddlers are fearless, so much so you’d assume that many are fighting for the top spot in the next season of American Ninja Warrior.
First walkers, in particular whole-heartedly laugh in the face of precaution — ripping off coffee table corner guards, sticking fingers in outlets, and climbing, well, everything.
As parents, we can only do so much. Sure, part of your your job description as mom is to protect your baby, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ll change that little daredevil of yours. These little suckers (and we mean that in the kindest way) are determined, and standing in their way only creates an obstacle towards their end goal. And man, you do not want to get in their way. Have you ever “accidentally” been headbutted in the mouth by trying to protect your child from a concussion? It hurts like a mother.
You’d think that age would wisen them in their late toddler years, but then suddenly it’s time to introduce them to wheels! Which we’re not gonna lie, is a scary sight. And while you might think the anxiety induced by your toddler simply going up the playground ladder will lead you to an early grave (who designed these things anyway??), you’ll survive this too mama.
In the meantime, here are 5 ways to keep you and your tots in one piece (and at peace) while they’re gaining their footing.
1. Keep Cool. On the inside that is. Toddlers are like teenagers. The more you try and tell them what to do, the more they’ll rage out and do the opposite. Let them think you’re totally cool. Keep close, but not too close. Observe their extreme actions, but don’t tell them what to do and mentally prepare yourself to swoop in at any given moment.
2. Travel in packs. Being a good parent ain’t easy, but it’s true what they say: there truly is strength in numbers. Call a friend, heck, call 10 and have them meet you at the park. This way, there will always be an extra set of eyes or arms around the corner. Being able to vent to another parent about your toddler’s latest shenanigans is the icing on the cake.
3. Stable shoes are key. When they’re teeny tiny babies, it’s purely about the cute factor. But as your babe gets his balance, it’s ALL about the function. OK, yes, and the cuteness. But your toddler will use his toe as a break. He will jump in that puddle, and he will most definitely run, run, run as fast as he or she can in every direction. Investing in durable, safe, stable, water resistant footwear like KEEN Kids shoes will help save some spills and last through the toughest toddler moves while still looking cute.
4. “Forget” to take off your kids helmet. The first time you leave your toddler’s scooter helmet on at the playground might be accidental, but when you do, an “aha” moment will happen and you’ll realize that helmet might be the safety net you wished playground architects were genius enough to actually build in.
5. Encourage them. While you might wonder how your baby or toddler will ever start walking, climbing or scooting, they will! They all do it at their own pace, and they’ll all be good at their own thing. Practice makes perfect, and though it may come with a bunch of scrapes and bruises, there’s nothing like seeing your child accomplish a task he or she has effortlessly worked on. So sit back, encourage your babe to do the best he or she can, and let him or her know that you’re proud of all the hard work.
*We are so grateful when brands support our content and community. This post was sponsored by KEEN. Use the code, WellRounded2016 for 15% off your next purchase at KEEN Kids shoes. We’re also giving a way a pair of KEEN Kids shoes to 10 lucky readers, so enter the giveaway below!
Photography by Belle Augusta for Well Rounded NY.