Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Strangers (and St. Pat's Day)
It's funny that Sidekick thinks that St. Patrick's Day is a birthday party. At 2 1/2, I guess every celebration is like a birthday party. He kept singing "Happy Birthday" all morning long. I love skull and crossbones, and so does Sidekick, and when I saw this shirt last year, I had to buy two! It's fun see how he's changed in one year:
There was a kidnapping last week in the neighboring town, and that got me wondering when is the right time to talk about strangers without scaring Sidekick? I started giving him scenarios and asked him what he would do. For example:
Me: What if a man/woman comes up to you and tells you he has a lot of puppies in his car, and he wants you to see them?
Sidekick: I say NO and run to my momma.
Me: What if Hunter's mom sees you outside and asks you if you would like a cookie?
Sidekick: I say yes please.
Sidekick: Because she is nice and our friend
Me: What is Ms. Lisa (teacher at school) is at the park and asks if you want some juice.
Sidekick: I say No. I can't have juice. Can I have milk please?
Hahahahaha! Just when I think I'm ahead of him, he proves me otherwise. Anyway, he loves playing this "game" and wants to do it all. The. Time. I'm running out of scenarios. "Strangers" scare me, and while I know the likelihood of someone taking Sidekick is so small, it is something that truly worries me.
While I was getting Sidekick ready for bed the other night, he said in a very serious voice, "Momma, look at my eyes." (This is what I say to him when I really want his attention.) "We do not. Talk. To. Strangers. Ever." Wow! Out of the blue he said this to me. I'm impressed that he thinks about it. I guess things I teach him do stick in his little brain. :)
The days of being gone until the sun sets is so far away from the reality of where our world is now. Our children are losing their innocence, their sense of adventure, and their freedom to experience everything we were so lucky to do as kids. I don't think the idea of being snatched up on the street ever crossed my mom's mind when I was little while riding bikes, walking to school alone, going to the park alone, etc. I know that Sidekick is never out of my sight, and when he's older, our discussions will get "bigger". The truth of the matter is, if Sidekick was ever in one of the scenarios, someone could easily pick him up and run, but at least he is learning that we don't trust everyone we see even if they have puppies, cookies, candy, etc. Ugh! I hate thinking about this. I really do. It just makes me sick to my stomach.
I remind Sidekick all the time that it's my job to keep him safe, happy, and healthy. When I really think about it, it's such a big responsibility. He has no idea what a responsibility that is, but he knows that I would do anything to protect him. His newest thing to say after I tell him I love him:
"I love you 'too' and a half." because he is, after all, 2 1/2 and not just 2!