Teach your parents well…

Koko is now big enough to be trusted to walk next to me through a parking lot. She won’t run off putting herself in harm’s way because she knows the rules and mostly abides. Number one rule, of course, is holding my hand through the parking lot. But when we are holding hands through a parking lot, old habits have a way of creeping in and I still instinctively make the pinky-thumb-wrist-lock on her sometimes. You know, the kind you do when they are newly ambulatory babies prone to breaking from your handhold, rushing off to certain danger. It is not conscious and I would not have even noticed I do it, except for the little voice recently.

“Mama, you’re hurting my ankle.”

I looked down at Koko, confused. Her ankle appeared fine. “Your ankle?”

“You’re hurting my…little ankle,” she said, hesitating. “My ankie?” she added, helpfully.

At this point I realize she is referring to her wrist and just about melt from the cuteness.

She still refers to most any joint as an ankie lately – shoulder, elbow, you name it. But I am trying not to put the lock on her hand ‘ankie’ anymore lest I cause discomfort, to say nothing of preventing her from being the big girl she is.