Next Up, Letting Wild Wolves Raise My ChildBeth Anne Ballance
I let my two-year-old play outside.
In the past three months that I’ve been working from home with him, the weather went from dark and cold winter to a mild and warm springtime. We threw open the windows sometime in early March and brought out shorts in the past few weeks and Harrison has been begging to spend every waking moment outside. We go on walks, we swing and chase the dog. I even work outside the majority of the time, sitting on a blanket in the yard while he plays but sometimes, Momma just needs to be indoors to get some things done.
So I let him play outside alone while I stay in the house.
How?! Why?! ARE YOU A LUNATIC? you might ask…
Nope, not a lunatic or a neglectful mother. Just one that has a to-do list, like every mother.
So after we play and it’s time for lunch, I keep the windows and back doors flung wide open where I can hear and keep an eye out on the kiddo. We have a six-foot privacy fence that is locked with no hope of escape on a quiet street in a very family-oriented neighborhood. We don’t have a pool he can fall into or a six-foot tree house to climb. Our neighbor is usually working out on his back deck that peers over our yard. Plus, our German Shepherd dog is out there with him and she will cut the bitch that tries to mess with our family, to put it kindly.
So I unload the top of the dishwasher, then peek out to check. Unload the bottom dishwasher and peek out to check. Wipe down the counters and brew a cup of coffee and head outside for another 30 minutes. Rinse and repeat as necessary.
The best part is that a) I’m keeping an eye on my kid and b) he’s learning to play outside without me initiating play. Which means that in a few years, I can really send him out to play by himself so that I can eat bon-bons on the couch. Or clean the bathrooms. Whatever.