Some lessons have to be learned the hard way.
November 02, 2013

Last spring, a reader (hi Leah! I owe you big-time!) suggested I look into the How to Train Your Dragon books for Charlotte.

We did, naturally, and because Charlotte was already rather taken with dragons, she took to Hiccup and his many wild Viking adventures like a fish to water.  She was still so impressed by the book at her birthday a couple months later that her cousins gave her the rest of the series, which we have been reading ever since.

So nobody was really surprised when Charlotte asked if she could be a Viking for Halloween.  And a Viking she was:

Every year we celebrate Halloween with some good friends of ours and as a result of that we always sort of loosely plan to see my parents a day or two before Halloween to show off costumes.  But what really ends up happening is that every year I drop the ball, forget to make the plans, and then Halloween sneaks up on me and I go down the road to my parents’ house the day AFTER Halloween instead.  This year was, of course, no different.  Before I knew it, it was the morning after Halloween and my parents had not seen the neighborhood Viking yet.

This little snafu did not escape Charlotte either and she was not about to let an opportunity to dress as a Viking (“you can call me just Astrid today, Momma”) (AWESOME) pass her by, so the morning after Halloween as soon as everyone was awake and fed and had their teeth brushed, she put on her Viking costume and hopped on her scooter and we went to her grandparents’ house.


And Evelyn was a bumblebee.  I swear the cuteness of Halloween gives me baby fever, it’s not right.

They weren’t there, so then she insisted on searching the neighborhood for them.

We happen to live in a hilly area.  There is one hill in particular that I am forever warning Charlotte about, but there comes a time in every mother’s life when she realizes that the precious little womb fruit she popped out needs some space to explore things on their own terms.

Or there comes a time in every mother’s life when the incessant badgering irritates them enough for them to say FUCK IT, scooter down that hill and see what happens.  Whatever.  Same thing.

So today I buckled Charlotte’s helmet a little tighter than usual, reminded her how to brake on her scooter, and crossed my fingers that she’d come out on the other end okay.

About three-quarters of the way down the hill, Charlotte crashed.  She was going too quickly, careened out of control, and hit some sort of crack that stopped her scooter in its tracks.  She flew off the scooter about five or six feet forward, landed on her head on top of a small rock which dented and cracked her helmet, then flopped onto her back and rolled.

Charlotte is fine.  She is a little scraped up, but didn’t seem to be otherwise injured and didn’t show any signs of a concussion, thank goodness.

Then this evening as I was tucking her into bed, Charlotte asked me why I let her scooter down the hill.  I (foolishly) thought this would be a moment of great meaning and teaching, so I explained to her that I felt she needed to experience the hill to understand what her limitations are on the scooter and to value that when I tell her that something is dangerous I’m not just making shit up.

She sat there thinking on it for a moment, then said “Yeah.  If you didn’t let me scooter down that hill, I never would have found out that I could fly in my Viking costume.”

In other words: the Lesson Learning component of my Four-Year-Old model is broken.

** Charlotte is four years and three months old.  Evie’s first birthday is next week.


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  1. By on November 03, 2013

    Omg. Kids are so adorable. Glad she’s OK, but that was the best answer. Ever.

  2. By on November 03, 2013

    4 years old!  And I can’t believe your baby is so big!

  3. By Karen on November 05, 2013

    I shudder to imagine what she might attempt to do the next time she dons the costume now that she has learned that she has magical flying powers in it!

  4. By on November 05, 2013

    Amaziiiiiing. Love it!

  5. By Megan R. on November 05, 2013

    Oh my!  I feel the same way about the bicycle (with training wheels) and hills.  But, they have to learn sometime, right?  Even if it means a tumble…and discovering they can fly.  ha!

  6. By on November 06, 2013

    Did you make Charlotte’s costume out of those toilet seat covers? I saw an article on how to make a Viking costume out of toilet seep at covers, and I was wondering if you saw the same one.

  7. By Sarah Christensen on November 06, 2013

    Haha, Cynthia!  YES!  I actually made it out of a bath mat instead of the toilet seat covers because it was cheaper to buy one of those than it was to buy the two toilet seat covers, and it took me all of ten minutes to put it together.  That’s my kind of costume!

  8. By on November 07, 2013

    Love it!  Charlotte says the best things.  I am excited to hear about the conversations between her and Evelyn!
    Thanks for sharing :)

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