My kids are only two and a half, and already I find myself saying “I just know” on a daily basis. But not to the kids. To the other adults around me.
It’s a strange phenomenon, knowing something is going to go wrong, but being unable to specifically pin down what it is. The babies will be doing something obstensibly harmless. I have no reason that I can find to forbid them from doing it, but I often try anyway. I just know. The other adults around me will argue against my decision, rightfully so. I can’t tell them why I’ve decided against the action. I usually end up giving in, in fact. But I just know. I just know.
There are two examples I can give from this last week. The first when we were eating pizza for dinner and the babies kept trying to reach into the box like my husband and I were doing, to get their own pieces themselves.
“Don’t do that, babies!” I said. “Stop reaching into the box. Mommy doesn’t want you reaching into the box. Eat from your plates only.”
My husband didn’t say anything to back me up, and the babies kept trying. Finally, I turned to him, saying “Please, I don’t want them reaching into the box.”
“Why?” he asked.
I had no good reason to give him. I just knew. But I let them continue to reach because I had no specifics to back me up, and I figured I was just being silly.
Two minutes later, a wine glass was toppled from the table, landing on the carpet. It was mostly empty, thank goodness, but it happened. I just knew. I didn’t know what. I didn’t know why. I just knew.
Then, again, yesterday. My parents and I had taken the babies to the playground (it was a balmy 46 degrees here, okay?). The babies had a ball sliding down the little slide, running down the hill, and chasing bubbles. My stepdad wanted to help them onto the big-kid slide. You know the one. It’s twisty and enclosed like a tunnel.
“I don’t think so,” I said. “I’d rather them just stay on the little slide. They’re perfectly happy there.”
But I could come up with no good reason as to why they shouldn’t play on the big slide, especially with three of us there, keeping watch. I continued discussing it with my mom, still on the fence about letting them slide down. Meanwhile, the babies were playing on the rather too large wooden steps that lead up to the tunnel slide. Before I’d even finished a sentence to my mom, little Dulce slipped off the first wooden step and spun around the pole to which she was clutching with one hand, to stop herself from falling. She hit the pole with her eye before I could reach her, but she didn’t fall, again, thank goodness.
After that, we left the big slide alone, and went back to the little one. I just knew. I didn’t know why. I didn’t know what. I just knew.
The injury is not a big deal at all. Just a slight bruising above her eye, so no harm done. In fact, all of these “I just know” incidents are small. Still, it amazes me that I know.
I just know.
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