I fully admit to being the kind of person who occasionally freaks out about health and safety issues, but as a parent I’m reminded time and again that sometimes you just have to let things go. I’m a naturally-wired worrier, but if I want to maintain any sort of sanity as I go through this parenthood journey, I’m going to have to cultivate an air of calm.
I am trying, first of all, to change the way I respond to bumps and bruises. Like any parent, I hate to see you fall or get hurt, but it’s part of your learning process as you perfect crawling and move to standing and walking. It’s part of the process, I try to remind myself, and then take a deep breath before I react. Running around saying, “Oh no,” or worse, isn’t going to help you learn that mistakes are okay. All it’s going to do is add to the anxiety of situations. So instead of “Oh no,” I try to say, “Oh boy.”
“Oh boy,” is somehow calmer to me, and it can be used for good things, too. The range can be from “Oh boy, you tripped,” to “Oh boy, that was a great kiss from the dog!” and you seem to have latched on to this versatile phrase.
Starting last Friday, you began to say, “Oh boy!” for all sorts of things. This has been the second phrase you’ve learned, after, “Up, Dad!” and it’s so cute to see you practice.
When Dad munches on your stomach, it’s, “Oh boy!” your mouth rounded in this adorable little, “O.” When you watch Dad dive into the pool, it’s, “Oh boy!” When you hold on to the rabbit’s cage and pull yourself to standing, it’s, “Oh boy!” Your face, always a mix of surprise and excitement.
In addition to learning how to say, “Oh boy,” you also sprouted your first teeth. Never one to do things halfway, you’ve got two coming in together on the bottom of your mouth. You’re gnawing on everything now, including the rails of your crib and any available fingers you can find to put in your mouth. And, to steal your phrase, oh boy, you’ve figured out how to stand up on your own. Not only can you balance on your own for a few seconds, you’ve learned how to stand up without pulling up on anything. We are in for it now.
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, we say, and every day you learn and grow and change. Every day I am bowled over by you, by the amazing things you do. Oh boy, I love you. Oh boy, I am yours.
I love you,