Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Humpty Dumpty Problems

Have you ever noticed that, like, half of all kid songs and rhymes include something about somebody or something falling down?

London Bridge is falling down.
Jack fell down and broke his crown.
When the wind blows, the cradle will fall.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out (he totally fell off the water spout)
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.
One fell off and bumped his head.

if the look on his face doesn't say "I'm plummeting to my death," I don't know what does...

Then there's Humpty Dumpty.  Who, depending which version of the story you subscribe to, might or might not have been reassembled by the King's horses and men.

My kid is obsessed with Humpty Dumpty ("hunky dunky") and everything about him.  Well, three things in particular.
1) He's egg-shaped.
2) He climbed up high to take a seat on a wall.
3) He fell down and broke apart.

See where I'm going with this?

We climb on things and try to fall off.
We put our toys and other items on top of high surfaces and knock them off.
Or sometimes it's food from the dinner table that has a great fall and needs the king's horses and men to come to it's aid.
Sometimes we combine stories and talk about how the monkeys fell off the wall and bumped their heads, or hunky dunky was jumping on the bed and had a great fall.

All in jest, to identify with the story, of course -- and always adorable, with a sincere "Oh noooo, fell dowwwn!"    

But it's exhausting for this mama.

I'm not so concerned about her safety as I am the obsession with destruction.

We've turned our other favorite songs into falling down stories; for instance, with play dough we often create a (baa baa) black sheep with three bags of wool, who then in turn climbs up on a play dough wall and crashes down breaking its legs off.

Puzzle pieces and crayons aren't safe from the falling either, Pennyzilla crashes them down to the floor, often citing that the king's horses and men might come to their aid as well.

Baby doll sits on the wall of Penny's crib and falls down multiple times before Penny will get out of bed.

"Oh noooo! Baby fall down!!"

I'm trying to work in some teaching moments about the seriousness of hazard and injury (like if she tries to climb the wall above our basement stairs "Penny could get a BIG BIG BIG owie") without revoking creativity or intercepting physical playfulness that I believe is so important for toddlers.

It's just a phase.  It's just a phase...

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