So...those girls. Again with those girls! They're presence in our life is... fine. Really. But it's also making me feel just a wee bit self conscious.
Whenever they're over, I always preface play time by letting everyone know just how long the fun can last.
For example, this weekend I announced that Sweetie's Daddy would be leaving in about one hour. When he goes, the girls have to go home for the day.
(In theory, all girls agreed with this plan. In reality, Sweetie pitched a fit when we called her home).
Anyway, it makes me feel like I'm some kind of Doomsday Sayer, setting up the inevitable fall from a happy situation.
(Let it be known, however, that the neighbor girls are always agreeable and perfectly accepting of playtime's end whenever it rolls around. It's Sweetie who's the dramatic one. Of course.)
Whenever the girls are playing in our house, I feel like I'm constantly telling them not to do something, go somewhere, or to generally be careful.
You can all play upstairs in (Sweetie's) room and playroom. But no one's allowed in our bedroom or my closet. And only go into the bathroom if you need to use it.
No playing by the stairs. No bringing toys downstairs. Be careful on the stairs!
(For the record, I'm perfectly aware that "be careful" is probably the most frequent phrase to come out of my mouth on a daily basis anyway. But saying it to Sweetie when the other girls are there just makes me feel like I'm being over concerned. In fact, the 6 1/2 year old girl even said to me once, after I insisted Sweetie be careful on the stairs - She is being careful).
(Also? I don't feel that I'm truly all that over protective of Sweetie, as a general rule. I know she's perfectly capable of walking down a staircase! In fact, I remember times when my mom was over and told Sweetie to be careful on the stairs, and I was all - She's okay! She's on those stairs all the time).
(My parents, it may be important to note, live in a Ranch style house. Stairs are not so much an issue for anyone there).
Anyway - I plain ol' feel like I'm constantly telling Sweetie and the girls to be careful and/or to not do one thing or another.
Pick up that toy before someone trips on it.
Don't drink that too fast - you don't want to choke.
No running in the house, please. Especially if you're only wearing socks!
Don't take those toys outside. I don't want them to get lost.
If you go outside, stay on the grass in our yard. No playing by the back hill. No walking on the wall. And if you do cross the street, be sure to look both ways before you go.
(Note: you may recall that we live on a very short, very quiet dead end street. There's very little danger of anyone missing the fact that a car is coming or not. Still. Practice makes perfect, right? For times in the future when it will matter much more to watch the traffic).
Geesh! I'm such a control freak! I'm so overly careful!
No. Not really. I think I'm actually in the "normal" range regarding parental concern for my child's safety and the safety of her peers.
I think the thing is - those girls are two out of six kids! Their family is so big that I wonder how much of this "be careful"/"don't do that" stuff they get at home. I'd imagine the parents, after having so many kids, have acquired a sort of - eh... they can take care of themselves - sort of attitude. Oops... I mean, they're more at ease with this whole parenting thing. Yeah. That's it.
I've met these parents. As far as I'm concerned, they're good, smart, responsible people with good, smart, responsible kids. And the "at ease"/"whatever" attitude I'm attributing to them is completely based on my own stereotype of what I think it must be like to have a large family - not on reality.
Still. These girls. They make me self conscious.
Especially when they were over the other day, first playing upstairs (where I told them all the "rules"), then deciding to play downstairs (different rules), then opting to go outside (guess what?! more rules!), and finally all three (probably the neighbor girls' idea, though) opting to go play in their yard instead.
Geesh! Trying to get away from the crazy/ever-watchful Mama much?
Yeah. Most likely. But this is Sweetie's and their well being we're talking about! I don't care what they think!