I have a rather laid back style of parenting. Basically, if it won't kill them or maim them or hurt them in a big bad way I let them do it (and you know, as long as your actions don't interfere with someone else's ability to enjoy their activity then go at it). And I'm sure there are times this can come across as irresponsible parenting to people who tend to parent with, well, rules and whatnot (I mean, I have rules, they are just the ones to me that make sense - like don't push your sister - rather than ones that make no sense - like you have to wear a shirt in the house).
This afternoon started off rather responsible. It was cool today (high of 50) but sunny so I took the kids to a new park (never mind that the park was about 1.5 miles away, uphill - only one way - and I decided to walk the kids in a double stroller so it took a wee bit longer than I anticipated) and everyone was having a good time:
Chloe was sitting on the grass by the playground wearing the appropriate coat for the weather and she even had socks on (which is important since I rarely remember to put on socks and I don't put shoes on my children until they reach a place of danger for not wearing them). Granted, she was eating grass and other lawn items but this wasn't "dangerous" per se.
Evan was playing on the age appropriate play set. True, he had taken off his coat on our way to the park because he told me "no need coat" and I felt a 2 & 1/2 year old could make that decision for himself (and I knew if he got cold he would ask for his coat back) but he was playing quietly.
Then we all spotted the large and empty basketball courts and decided to investigate. So far so good... I thought the basketball courts would be a good place for Chloe to be able to crawl and Evan found a small ball in my diaper bag that would be perfect for playing basketball. So off we went.
So Chloe crawled:
And that was the last of the normalcy as within 5 minutes my irresponsible parenting became evident. The first thing that happened was that Chloe crawled everywhere and her socks couldn't keep up. I swear I put them back on twice but eventually I gave up. So my 11 month old daughter was crawling around barefoot on a dirty dirty and cold basketball court... as happy as a clam:
Then my son decided that he didn't need his shoes. He ran over to the other side of the courts, took off his shoes, and ran back to me in only his socks:
The only way I actually got him to keep his socks on was to threaten to leave the park if he took his socks off. And I didn't push the issue because quite frankly I remember what it was like to be young and barefoot.
So, as my two children, filthy and shoeless, ran around the basketball court I watched other children walk past. Most of these children had on their winter coats, long pants, warm socks, and shoes. I imagine their parents / grandparents were shaking their heads at me... but I also imagine the children were wishing they could be running barefoot on the basketball court with Evan and Chloe.
PS - Don't get all excited about this blogging two days in a row thing... I don't want this to become an expectation or anything.