Boundaries

Do you remember the scene from Jurassic Park when the T-Rex is breathing against the round glass window of the kitchen door?  It’s a heart-pounding, anxiety-filled moment where you think, “the door’s closed, no opposable thumbs, there’s no way….” and the handle turns.  Oh shit!  That is exactly how I felt this morning.  The little one, at 17 months, figured out how to open the door to our bedroom.  Oh shit is right!
Our usual routine in the morning begins by allowing the girls to watch a little TV as we muster up enough energy to throw our legs over the side of the bed and actually step onto the floor.  The girls won’t sit still and watch their programs, so we typically close all the doors in our room so that they’re safe in our range of sight while we pry our lids open. I hate mornings. So imagine my horror when I saw her run for my door, stand up on her tip-toes and grab the handle.  I thought, “No way, she can’t do it yet.”  She looked back at me over her shoulder with that adorable, mischievous smile she’s had since her first poopy diaper, and pulled the door open.  Then my little Prefontaine ran down the hall and I swear I could hear George Michael’s “Freedom” blasting inside my ear drums.  Ugh!  This little chicky needs boundaries and I’m going to start by locking the door.
In actuality, everyone needs boundaries.  It’s my job as a parent to set them for my kids, just as my parents did for me and my siblings.  I’m going to have to cater to each girl’s very different personality in order to set appropriate boundaries for each of them.  I never had to worry about my big one climbing up on boxes, steps, chairs, I find myself in unfamiliar territory re-baby-proofing for my little one.  The big one never opened the kitchen cabinets.  She wasn’t interested.  I have locks on the cabinets with knifes and sharp objects, but now my pots and pans need to be locked away too.  As always, I look to my parents for examples on how to do this fairly.  Yet, I distinctly remember one older brother telling my parents it wasn’t fair that he had a curfew when the other brother did not.  My parents simply said, “We know that when he gets tired, he’s going to put his little head down wherever he is and go to sleep.  You, on the other hand, will party all night and then get sick from lack of rest.  We will see you at midnight.”
As I extrapolate further, I see that I need to set boundaries for myself too.  I am a classic over-sharer.  No need for truth serum here, I would sing like a canary if cross examined.  I probably overstep the bounds of appropriate conversation quite frequently turning my attempt at honesty into making others uncomfortable.  I find myself telling almost complete strangers about my boobs.  Sure, I’m trying to spread awareness, but I’m pretty sure my mailman just wanted to give me a letter.

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