I don’t understand it. They don’t seem like depressed or overly angry children (except when I prematurely turn off Voltron on Amazon Prime). Really, they don’t. They aren’t thrilled when Mommy gets distracted and dinner is late, or they really didn’t want to stop playing to use the potty or get a diaper change…but they don’t seem like children who would wish to end it all.
So, I can’t understand the literal attraction to basically anything that could kill or maim them.
Knives and scissors. The sharper and more lethal, the better. The source is unimportant. Kitchen, desk, pocket of careless visitor…it doesn’t matter as long as whatever they find is sharp enough to gut a large fish in under ten seconds.
High places. This is all relative to how tall the child is; the key is that it must be an unreasonable height for someone of their size and age. For my preschooler, it’s got to be at least higher than Mommy’s head. For my toddler, one to two times her height is preferable. Extra enjoyment if the thing is rickety; as in the second to the top shelf of the cat lounging tree which is meant to hold a cat up to twenty pounds, and not a thirty-three pound child, which sways back and forth like a palm frond in a hurricane when he confidently stands atop it. The toddler is happy to perch on an end table with a lamp surrounded by unforgiving tile floor.
Running in traffic. Parking lots or the average residential neighborhood alike are the perfect opportunity for attempting to get away from their mother’s manacle-grasp, so he can run freely and without looking into the very same area that cars and trucks regularly drive.
Any vitamin not in a child proof container. I don’t know how that one slipped by me, but sitting on my kitchen counter a few days ago is my preschooler holding a bottle of B vitamins that somehow did not have a child proof lid (which I thought they were all supposed to have!), about to conduct a scientific experiment on taking high levels of B vitamins.
Seat belts. My preschooler has found if he pushes hard enough, he can put the chest clip in his lap, freeing his arms and defeating most of the purpose of securing him in a car seat. This is a fun exercise in independence and control for him; an exercise in fear and what if’s for me.
It’s not a game I understand; though they have shown me the rules. The gauntlet has been thrown down; and it is my battle to win in protecting my children from their current worst enemy—themselves.