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I was excited about getting bunk beds
for the twins. They were outgrowing their toddler beds, which were really just
their cribs with the rails removed, and it was time to upgrade to a big kid
bedding situation. Also, like in the movie "Stepbrothers," it would give them so
much more room for activities.
But then I read a warning from the APA
that children under 6 shouldn't be on the top bunk. The twins are just shy of 4. Bummer! Still, we took an afternoon trip to IKEA to test them out.
surprised to find that the beds weren't super high, had guard rails and were
very stable. My gut told me that this age limit was ridiculous—we were ready
to bunk. That got me thinking about the other potentially hazardous, non-APA
approved things I let my son and daughter do:
"Stop, no running!" is the
refrain espoused by parents and caregivers. No running in the house and
definitely no running around a pool. Most kids could probably use a little more
running and less sitting. And if you fall and hurt yourself, get back up.
We used to
jump into the pool all the time as kids. Sometimes, confused by the rules of
Marco Polo, we even did it with our eyes closed. I'm not advocating diving into
shallow water, but a gleeful jump is perfectly fine.
8. Not wearing a helmet
We own a helmet, but when the twins practice scooting or riding the Big Wheels in front of our
house, rarely do they wear it. And I think that's OK! Again, growing up, we
all managed to ride bikes around our neighborhoods without sustaining head
injuries. This is pedaling up and down the block, not riding a motorcycle on
the open highway.
7. Riding in booster seats
A few months
ago, tired of cramming my son's lanky body into a baby seat, we switched to the
booster seat (with backs). The twins were just shy of being the recommended "4 years
old and 40 pounds" at the time.
6. Riding in the stroller unbuckled
Sometimes, when we're in a rush, they will just hop right in the stroller and we take off. I'm
careful around the curbs and cracks in the pavement. So far, everyone has
been able to stay put.
Of course, I tell them to slow down. But that doesn't mean I start freaking out.
5. Going down scary slides
love any kind of bouncy house structure, and we don't stop them from careening
down slides that are maybe a little bit above their age level. That's not
to say I haven't found myself taking off my boots and crawling into an inflated
maze in order to retrieve one of them, but we think it's better that they try.
4. Playing ball in the house
who grew up watching "The Brady Bunch" remembers, "Mom always said, 'Don't play ball in
the house!'" We don't have any valuable ceramic trinkets, so playing ball in the
house is just fine by me.
3. Sleeping with a pillow over the head
This is the way my daughter likes to sleep. Even if I move the pillow off her
head, five minutes later, she will be back underneath it. This one does look a
little scary, I'll admit, but at this age, doctors say a child will know to
2. Stuffing their mouths with food
something is super yummy, the twins may stuff a lot of it in their mouths all
at once. Of course, I tell them to slow down. But that doesn't mean I start