I have something to tell you, we let you scratch yourself, multiple times.
When you were born like most little babes you came out with claws, as in little spear baby nails that were so sharp I’m surprised you didn’t claw your way out of the womb rather then being birthed. I tried to cut these “claws” but they were just SO little on five pound you I could hardly bring myself to use the big and scary nail cutter in fear of chomping off an entire little finger. So more times then not they were long. Another thing about baby claws is they grow at amazing rates. Your Dad has become the resident “claw trimmer” at our house and has to cut them a few times a week at least.
From the time you were born you would gash yourself pretty good in the face. Mostly becuase if you ever got really upset you would grab you face in the most disturbing way and scratch in turn making you scream more and grab more, see the cycle? Don’t think you were just into self mutilation, oh no for a good few weeks there we also walked around with slash marks on our faces, war wounds from these crying episodes. Even today I have marks on my nose but now there from the adventurous four month old you who thinks it’s hilarious to grab our noses, lips, ears, and hair.
When our friends saw your pretty new born face with these scratches they wold each tell us “they make hand mitt covers” for that. Your Dad and I would smile and nod. Fact is we didn’t believe in those hand covers. You were born to suck. You came out of the womb sucking your arms, hands, and pretty much anything within sucking range. You even still have a mark on your wrist from where you sucked away those first precious weeks. I couldn’t bring myself when you were a newborn to cover up those little paws you loved to munch on oh so much. And you know what happened? After a couple weeks and a few deep self induced scratches you STOPPED scratching your face.
I really think we underestimate what newborn baby’s can understand and learn. OK, I admit I went into it as an experiment of sorts and if you seriously kept scratching yourself I would have given in and used the mitts. But, my logic was if we needed mitts we would have been born with them. And look you LEARNED not to scratch yourself with the freedom to learn that lesson.
I hope to continue to raise you like this. Not letting you hurt yourself on the regular but giving you the space and freedom to learn as you grow up. I recently read another parents post about their kid eating wood chips and how it was inevitable. Children will eat wood chips (among other inedible things), children will scratch themselves and other, children will do thousands of crazy things to grow and learn. I personally believe being a good parent is a balance between protecting your child while giving them the freedom to become the amazing person they will be. I hope we raise you to be strong and independent just as much as trusting we are there to protect you from this crazy world making you feel safe and secure.