Of Pools, Lakes & Boundaries

Molly, Miles and I attended our annual Hayward family reunion, and we all had a blast!

It’s been a fascinating experience to watch Miles continue to explore his world, both emotionally and physically, looking to test and push his own boundaries. There are sometimes “contradictions” into what he wants / does not want to do- he is at times overwhelmed by big bodies of water, but has no fear jumping off a flight of stairs.

And all along, it has been very rewarding to be one of his playmates. My heart melted when he said “salta, papa” (jump, daddy) for the first time, or when he grabbed my hand and we both jumped off into the pool. I always knew being a father would be fun, I just didn’t know how much!

Speaking of boundaries, as Miles continues to explore them, Molly and I have spent more time educating and redirecting, aka disciplining, venturing into the side of parenting that does not seem as fun as throwing pebbles into the pond or running over puddles.

Discipline, it can be a dreaded word, especially for the drama that seems to build up around it!

Luckily, Molly got us the book “No Drama Discipline”, where the authors give alternative ways to educating that eliminate the drama, enhance the relationship between parents and children, all while ensuring kids build long-lasting brain connections around principles, good behaviors and boundaries. This book has been heaven-sent.

Even with these types of resources and aids, parenting still feels like a “white canvas”, okay, maybe whitish, in the fact that Molly and I get to design what we want it to be.

It reminds me of a graffiti that read “my reality, my expectations”, because there are a lot of gray areas where, as a parent, you just need to make a call and determine what is acceptable vs. what it is not.

Point in case, Miles just transitioned into the toddlers’ room and, as the “new kid”, there is a lot of learning he needs to do, starting with how to share toys and attention- as the oldest kid in his previous class, Miles got the undivided attention from some of his teachers and got to even “push” the boundaries with his classmates, and some shoving might have come up, which Molly and I were quick to address.

In his new classroom, Miles has been bitten four times in a span of four weeks, twice by the same peer. Molly and I understand that biting happens at this age, that there might be some “extenuating” circumstances that explain the behavior- the paper slips we get say it always involves a “learn-to-share” situation. But four times in that short span seems excessive and unacceptable, no matter the background, circumstances or the amount of apologies-very much in the same way Miles hitting or being hit frequently has been to us, and we have experienced both sides and neither are pleasant to witness as a parent, I can tell you that!

I am proud that in Molly I have a partner in the true sense of the word, someone I can team up to design what we want for Miles, the “do’s and don’t’s”.

I can’t believe Miles is tall enough to almost reach his trike pedals! He will soon be tall enough to ride along in our bike rides vs. just in tow!  A perfect analogy what this come of age feels like. I can hardly wait!!!


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