We recently had a number of house guests. One of these was my best friend from high school who is now a teacher. She doesn't plan to have any kids of her own, but she really looks forward to the visits she has so she can play with mine. The main problem with people who don't have kids coming to play with your own is this: they don't understand how fast twin toddlers can get into trouble with what they learn.
No matter how many times I explained that we really didn't want the girls to learn how to climb up to the slide on their play structure quite yet...I would turn around and find her carefully teaching them how to grip the rope and use the climbing holds as foot placements. I'm pretty sure she thought I was insane and overprotective about this whole teaching thing but only having met my kids twice, she really doesn't know them like I do. It wasn't long before all of my chiding went to waste and they could scale that thing on their own. She was always there to support them, if they needed it, but my little monkeys had learned something new that was sure to be the bane of my existence.
The day my friend left, it was really early in the morning. I had a whole day ahead to spend with my kiddos...and they wanted to be outside. I was looking forward to doing a bit of yard work while they played out there, but that was wishful thinking...because - like Tasmanian devils - they headed straight for the play structure! They certainly remembered everything "Auntie" had taught them.
Two year olds can't be reasoned with. Mine barely listen to a word I say. They don't understand that we weren't teaching them that trick for a reason - they are just not stable enough to handle if they climbed up there and then got into a pushing match when I was more than a couple of feet away to catch them! I figured we could teach them next year when they might have a little better concept of heights and "falling equals owwie" and "Don't push your sister".
Unfortunately, now I will need to always be within a couple of feet of the play structure when they are out there. Bye bye any hope of yard maintenance and Bye bye, any "I'm just running inside for a second to get your waters". Instead of happily sliding on the Little Tykes slide they used to be quite content with - they now need the BIG slide that makes them go zoomy fast. And having the ability to climb there themselves means I can't stop them from doing it the second my back is turned.
To my friend: Thanks hun, but since you don't have kids of your own - you don't get it. I care about the safety of my children and that's why we were waiting until they were old enough to understand before they were taught that. Now that it's in, I can't de-program it.
Damn you and your teacher-patience.