Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Home Training

I've heard this a lot in my lifetime. Home training--either somebody not having it, somebody needing it, or somebody having it but acting like they don't.

Chances are that this is a cultural thing or a southern thing--the pervasiveness of the terminology in speech, I mean. Whatever the case, it was on my mind recently.  Although "home" is an important word here,  the assumption--I assume--is that said training should carry over and be effective no matter where the trainee finds her/himself.  If so, I have to wonder how does one effectively impart home training, particularly with a highly energetic child who is committed to simply taking advantage of the freedom of her unburdened limbs every chance she gets?  Cause despite my consistent efforts to do so, my three-year-old still has no qualms about climbing up/over/under/through trees, walls, benches, chairs, and rails in public places.  Anyone witnessing her level of activity might surely assume her father and I have made no effort to instill in her more suitable ways to be when out and about.
Such was the case recently when our family took a rare trip across the island to the town of Kailua. 

Highway taken to and from Kailua through the mountains.  Some of the most amazing views, for sure!  (Photo courtesy of http://www.theworldgeography.com/2013/03/drives-above-forest.html)

Having finished eating her food at a store we visited, my child commenced to climbing back and forth from the bench we were sitting on outside the store onto the (empty) bench behind us. At one point, as she straddled the top of the back of our seat, I looked at her and for a split second thought, explicitly,  "This child ain't got no home training."

I know better though.  She does, too. Yet, there's something about her absolute nature that forces me to re-train myself in how I'm bound to relate to her during these times.   Given who she is, I'm learning that there are moments when she needs the freedom to just be her wild, free self--within the confines of safety, of course--no matter how it might look, seem, or actually be.

Once, as I stood in line at the bank and my child wiggled and moved all over the place and attempted to swing from the deposit slip table, an elder behind me--sensing my uneasiness and hearing my fuss-- told me, "She's OK. As long as she doesn't climb or fall and hurt herself, she's OK." And with that, I just kept my eye on her and let her be.  After all, when you name a child Wangari, which translates to "of the leopards," you can't lose too much patience when she continually displays inherent acrobatic tendencies no matter where the mood strikes her.  Plus, with the high level of activity I was engaged in myself while she was in the womb (diving, swimming, hiking, climbing, etc),  I feel like we set ourselves up for this one!

   Tree climbing outside the doctor's office after an appointment.

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