he said. do you trust me to stay safe

I have a strict rule that Ethan needs to wear closed toed shoes with biking and scootering. And he knows why — because if he wears flip-flops, there is a high chance for a trip and stubbed (or broken) toe and or blood and I just don’t want to deal with it if it can be prevented.

Well. Listen to our Thursday conversation. We’re all ready outside in the driveway…..

Ok let’s go to the park! 

Mommy. I’m not going to wear shoes. (looking down at his flip flops on his feet). I’m going to do my scooter and flip flops. 

No you’re not. Shoes for bike and scooter or you can walk in your flip flops.

What can I ride and wear my flip flops? My bike? or my little bike? Or my scoooottter?


No no. How bout I be veeeerrryyy careful and wear my flip flops with my scooter. 

Buddy we already discussed this.

No no. How bout we make a deal. How bout I can just trrryyyy it. 

Buddy I’m going with Evy now. Can you grab your shoes so you can scooter? I love to watch you scooter!! 

Mommy. Do you trust me?

(totally stopped and paused)

Why do you ask?

Do you trust me to stay safe? 

(I’m stunned. He KNOWS my issue is that it’s a safety. He KNOWS trust means integrity and earning and showing he is consistent and safe. He’s applying what we’ve been trying to teach him?!?! How do I even ARGUE with MY OWN PARENTING GOALS?!?!)

Ok. How about this. I do trust you to stay safe as you can. So I’ll let you chose. And if it’s not safe or an accident happens we’ll have to come home and fix you up a bit if you get hurt. And if it is safe, then, well. That’s lucky and I guess we’ll just have to do the best we can. Buddy, mommy kinda makes this all up as we go. So we’ll have to just learn this all together. Sooooooooooooo sure. Let’s go. Grab your helmet. 

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Well. We got to the park with all toes intact and without blood. (I’m not sure if I’m relieved or annoyed but this. What’s the chance he would have gone THAT FAR without an accident? I guess for my kid, it’s not a far stretch. But STILL).

So we played at the park as usual. (and yes, Evy probably had food the entire time she played). And we went back home. Incident-free. I guess my character-development vs behavior-management is coming to a head and this will be an interesting next age for us to navigate!

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