Those things only scared me when I was 3…
These are words we’ve been hearing from Keegan a lot lately.
From a very early age he had a fear of heights. It started with the front porch at the cabin. He wouldn’t walk on it because he could see through the slats in the boards and was worried he’d fall through. We used to have to put rugs all around the porch just so he would walk around. The funny thing about this was that he go running at full speed down the dock at the lake that had the same slatted boards. Guess he could only see the water then!
As we explored away from home more, he began to have difficulty with playground equipment at the park. He wanted to crawl around on his hands and knees because he was terrified of slatted wood or of metal platforms with holes in it. And the shaky bridge? Forget it. As Eli climbed to the tip-top of the rock wall and then threw his body to the other side, I was gently coaxing Keegan to climb the steps to go down the slide. And when he did climb it was on his hands and knees.
We bought a wood climber/swing set for the back yard. And, because it’s wood, it has slats in the platform. He avoided that platform like the plague for the better part of the first summer we had it. He would swing – though not too high – and he would walk up the slide to turn around and go back down. I swear the kid had steel muscles to be able to constantly pull himself up.
I knew I was in trouble with him when we attended a cousin’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. He went after his brother into the climbing structure that goes across the ceiling. Except that he got stuck in the cheese wedge staircase to get up there. He was terrified. He couldn’t move – total deer in the headlights look. So, him coming down on his own was just not happening. I became painfully aware that I was going to have to shimmy my not so tiny self up there to get him. Wouldn’t ya know he was one tiny wedge from the top! I, somehow, squeezed myself through that damn maze of cheese. Someone really should tell Chuckey that his mazes suck! I rescued my little blonde boy and vowed to quickly turn down any future invites to Chuck E.’s palace.
Last weekend I took Keegan with me to Menards for a few sale items. He begged to play on their playground. **sidenote – If you have a Menards near you then you MUST check this out with your kids! They set up all their playground equipment that they sell for kids and parents to check out. It’s a great way to run off some steam for free in the colder months. It is outside but still enclosed!** As we got near the play area he told me he could play all by himself. “I was scared when I was 3 mom but I’m fine to play on all the stuff today”. Mind you, he’ll be 5 in less than 2 months. But, who am I to argue!
I have to admit that I was proud to watch him on the climbers. He ran around like a champ and never hesitated about climbing the rock wall. But, I was surprised when this was not where it ended.
A few days later we got yet another big snow. We took advantage of some family time in the back yard since it happened to actually snow on the weekend. My honey was busy finishing up shoveling the driveway. I was laying on the trampoline desperately trying to push the snow off the side – a true sight, I’m sure! The boys were running around and having a blast in the snow. Eli came to lay under the trampoline so that he could get snowed on. Keegan was being very quiet. I looked up to find him climbing the tree in our back yard. I wanted to scream for joy!
Eli has climbed that tree hundreds of times since we moved into this house. It’s not a tall tree. It’s really the perfect climbing tree. But Keegan? Keegan has NEVER had a desire to do anything but stand near the tree. And yet, this was what I saw.
He snuck up there all by himself. He was so proud of himself. I couldn’t have been happier!
So, after all this time we FINALLY say goodbye to all that age 3 brought in the way of fears. We say hello to inevitable ER visits that we’ve thus far managed to avoid. Perhaps I was slightly happier when he was my water baby who DIDN’T like to be up high! Anyone care to donate money to my “Gotta color the now white hair” fund???