(9th May 2011)

It’s interesting how sensible Elka is…she’s not a big tumbler, and if she climbs on something, I observe she seems quite cautious near the edge. Maybe it’s inherent in her…and maybe, just maybe, her dear parents have something to do with it.

Between Greg and I, we have the full spectrum covered. At one end, is Greg – the diligent, and careful person, who checks the oven every times he leaves the house to make sure it wasn’t left on. At the other end is me – I never check the oven, and I watch from a distance as Elka does her thing. I let her wander round the garden, explore the front verandah. I never think for a second that something bad is going to happen to her. And so far, she hasn’t strayed very far, or gotten into trouble…much.
There was one instance that Greg frequently likes to remind me of…Greg wasn’t there, but my parents and I looked on dotingly one afternoon, as Elka played in the garden at my parents’ house. Then…my god, she was rolling down the hill! A big very steep hill that is their front garden! Thankfully, it has all recently been landscaped, and a little friendly bush caught my darling girl in its leafy hands. She got the fright of her life – and so did I of course! Forever after, every visit to my parents’ comes with a strict caveat – “Don’t let Elka go near the cliff! Don’t leave Elka alone for a second!”
I admit, my wily ways continue, as I let Elka roam free in my parents’ garden. Thankfully, her sensible nature seems to steer her clear away from the edge of the “cliff”. And something in me thinks that it is because I allow her to roam that she has worked out so many boundaries – from the edge of the cliff, to the edge of the lounge, or whatever she choses to climb at the time.
I can’t find any of the references on the web at the moment, but there is an interesting study where infants are placed on a table that has an extended glass ledge. Infants who had been given a lot of safety direction tended to go out onto the glass ledge without much thought, whereas infants who were left to explore their own boundaries were far more cautious and tended to stay on the table proper. This little demonstration always sticks in my mind, and when my lax hovering style is condemned, I draw this experiment as my armour.