We return from our walk, mortified to see my mother-in-law letting Kubla play with her saw.
I snatch it from his hands and count all his fingers. A four year old can’t play with a saw! He dissolves into tears.
I hide the saw. Over the next few days our strong-willed boy keeps looking for it. Occasionally he finds it. I count his fingers again. This game of hide and seek is not going to end well.
I run to the store and pick up some child-sized gardening gloves.
“Hey Kubla, are saws dangerous?”
“Do you want to know the secret of using dangerous things? Be prepared. And pay attention.”
I give him the gloves and his sunglasses. We change his sandals into covered shoes. I find a stick and show him how to saw safely, keeping his hands and feet away from the blade. We take turns sawing all afternoon. I gently bring him back when his eyes wander from his hands.
These days sawing and carpentry are favorite summer activities. And he still has all his fingers.
What are ‘dangerous’ things you let your kids do? How do you teach them to be safe?
In two weeks I’ll give a $20 Kidorable gift certificate to whoever makes my favorite comment.