Saturday, June 25, 2011

Grass therapy

Every time, I think I am close to getting a "Mother of the Year" Award, Kerington puts me in my place. One particular situation started last summer. K and I had met our friends Jen and Riley at the park. Neither of the girls could walk yet, so we were limited at the park with what we could do. We swung for a while, took turns putting the girls down the slide, then thought we would just sit and chat in the grass for a while. As I sat Kerington down on the grass, she put her legs and arms up so no skin was touching the grass. "Eh, eh, eh" was coming out of her mouth. What?! Why won't she touch the grass? I looked over at Riley who was happily crawling around in the grass, chasing bugs, and picking up sticks. Then looked at Kerington who was working on abs of steel with only her diapered bottom touching the grass on the verge of a major breakdown. How can my daughter be afraid of grass? How did I let this happen? She is almost a year old and I have never sat her in the grass? Really? This put me into full on crisis mode. For the rest of the summer, most days, I would put her outside in the grass for a few minutes. . . the same thing, no skin could touch the grass. She started walking later in the summer and when she had shoes on, she would tiptoe carefully IF we were holding hands and there was NO way she could fall down. And heaven forbid someone not mow, and the grass was taller than her shoes. I didn't know what to do, what kid doesn't like the feel of grass between her toes on a summer day? I had failed.

Eventually fall came and it got cold so the grass issue went to the back of my mind. I could focus on more pressing failures. By the time spring rolled around, I had almost completely forgotten about the fear of grass issue. . . UNTIL, we were out looking at houses with our realtor. We were outside of a house, and decided to go look in the backyard. It was a warm spring day, Kerington had on flip flops (hop hops, as she calls them). We took off around the back of the house, in the grass . . . I look down at Kerington, who is walking along, then realizes where she is. She grabs my leg and says, "Ow toe, ow toe, up mommy, up mommy, ow toe, ow toe, see me, see me!!" What just happened? Did Kerington fake a toe injury to get out of walking in the grass? There was nothing in that yard for her to hurt her toe. My crafty little girl just faked a toe injury to get of walking in the grass. I had to give her credit, that was genius. I was proud, that shows problem solving skills.

Grass therapy went back into full effect. We would go outside walk in the grass, going a little further each day. Kerington's fear of grass became known, a topic of conversation at dinner parties and play groups, I received a lot of advice on how to help Kerington like the grass. One night, we were at our friend's, Paul and Sarah, house. Kerington was running around in the backyard with their dog. She had on hop hops, things seemed to be going well. Paul and Sarah even commented that she seemed to outgrow grass-phobia, THEN she fell. "Eh, eh, eh, eh" Kerington's arms and legs were up. We were all laughing, then Paul and Sarah's energetic lab mix came over to "help" Kerington. She was up in two seconds flat. Sometimes, you can't or won't overcome your fears until you have to.

Kerington and the grass are still not on the best of terms. She tolerates it, but she won't be rolling down any grassy hills soon. She still high-steps through they grass if it is too tall, but she will run through the yard barefoot or run to the swings at the park.
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