The mother bear mentality isn't something that's easily shaken. Especially when the third born is more of a dare devil than a nervous nelly. We constantly are warning family and caregivers to "PLEASE be right next to her, especially on the play ground, she doesn't know her limits!"
Except... I think she does. My father, known as 'Papa' to the pack made a good point this last weekend while we were up at their farm. If children are not allowed to make mistakes or fall down how will they learn what their threshold is?
This isn't to say just open the door and expect them home 8 hours later. It's more of a reminder to myself to back off when she want's to try to create something, climb something, build something and even cook/prepare something. I hovered like crazy when my older two were small and I am seeing how much I failed them. It's almost like they don't trust their own intuition or abilities to complete a task, that they seek us first before doing. When it comes to respect of house and body, yes, I appreciate that my children trust in us their concerns and use their manners. But, as we move forward as a family I am stepping back and letting them make mistakes. Letting a glob of jelly hit the floor as they prepare their own lunch, when before I would have been right by their side taking over...because it was easier for me to 'just do it.'
It's been hard to let go, it always is. If you see me at the park and my children are more than 10 feet away from me, it's ok. If you visit my home and it looks like a herd of cats made lunch, your suspicions are not far off. When a member of the pack turns up with a broken arm or an unusual amount of bandaids from trying to sew a doll dress. I haven't started neglecting them, I am letting them live.