Wednesday, April 21, 2010

...from atop the 2-story mulch pile.

As I make my way through the process of turning the yard into a nice thing (mowing on Monday, edging on Tuesday, shaping the bushes today, and the whacking of the weeds tomorrow), I have the opportunity to be outside and to let my kids roam, because I can be right there when the inevitable nosy neighbor decides to call the cops because my preschoolers are near the street and I'm not strictly in line of sight.

But either way, it's a daily exercise in managing the chaos.  Which brought me to some fun popping up on Twitter from the Free Range Kids territory.

(side note, I should have the book of said philosophy whenever Amazon gets it delivered.)

This one started with the post entitled: ANNOUNCING MAY 22: “TAKE OUR CHILDREN TO THE PARK…AND LEAVE THEM THERE DAY”.  Now for clarification, 4 and an autistic 5 is too young to participate to the fullest here (although my 4-year-old daughter wouldn't complain), but I do have a neighbor who has a daughter in preschool with my kids and an older son (6 or 7), who might be old enough (except they tend to helicopter too much from what I've seen).  And if I could find a family with an 8 or 9-year old, maybe I could ship them away for a few.

Of course, that's the advantage of being in the small town.  I'll be able to get them riding bikes to the store for me in a few years, once they acquire the ability to ride safely on the road, watch for cars, and count money.  It does depend on where you live to a degree.  But I have a feeling that there are parents that would flip if their kids climbed to the top of a two-story pile of mulch.  But mine were up there today as I loaded up a garbage can full to spread out in the flower beds.  I went about halfway up when it was time for them to come down, as it was the first time they climbed a giant shifting pile of dirt and rotting wood chips.  It's probably safer than climbing the slick and shifting boulders out at the lake, but since it was their first time on top of the community mulch pile, it never hurts to be handy.

Oh, and if you want the balanced assessment (and the ridiculous comments by helicopter parents), here's another site assessing the aforementioned kid-ditching event.

In the end,  my embrace of the Free-range mentality is part necessity (single parenthood helicoptering would leave me no time for gaming and masturbation), and part opportunity to raise kids that can go out there and live in the world without hanging on my ass for everything.  And being who I am, it will be to their benefit.

Finally, for the helicopter parents out there, here's the next thing you need to worry about:

As for me, I miss the good ol' days of playing with mercury in your bare hands....

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