Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tanner-Knievel: Our Little Daredevil

Let me preface by saying that I would almost rather have one of my children end up in prison than grow up to be a stuntman. Seriously. I wonder how Jackie Chan's mother gets through the day.
So imagine my surprise (and terror) as I discover that Tanner is a fearless little daredevil. I have done nothing to nurture these tendencies but find that they are growing despite my attempts to squelch them.

I've already posted a picture of Tanner sitting at the very tippy-top of our outdoor playset. He's been doing that particular stunt for MONTHS now, and it no longer stops my heart a few beats to find him on his favorite perch. He has recently graduated to new tricks: A few weeks ago, upon parking in the driveway after preschool pick-up, I told Tanner he could go ahead and get out of the minivan and head into the house while I talked to Carter through the driver's side window. I was suddenly startled to hear noises above my head: SOMETHING was on TOP of the van! Carter, wide-eyed with fear and admiration, cried out, "Oh my gosh! Tanner is on the van! How the heck did he get up there?!?" Sure enough, Tan was standing on the minivan rooftop, arms raised in triumph, shouting, "I am SO COOL!!!" And then, as I scrambled to react without panic. . . of course, he jumped.
The following week, I heard thumping noises upstairs and asked Carter to check on the kids. "If they're jumping on Tanner's bed again, tell them they're in big trouble!" I instructed. He came back with a stupefied grin, "Well, they're not jumping on the bed, but I think you'd better come see this for yourself!" I walked into Tanner's room to find him standing on top of his narrow 4' high dresser, waiting for me. Before I had time to freak out, he launched into a full-on aerial front flip onto the middle of his bed! Then without missing a beat, stood up, took the first of several bows, and said, "Thank you! Thank you very much!"

Since then, I have found him shimmying up the column in front of our house (trying to get to the roof), walking on TOP of the monkey bars, and teaching the triplets how to do dive rolls off the living room couch. He is forever flipping and rolling and jumping and twirling, and he is confident that all these stunts make him very, very cool.
It doesn't help that he's found a true fan in his big brother; Carter probably wishes he could get away with half of Tanner's tricks. "He is the coolest four-year-old ever!" I heard Carter say. He finds Tan's stunts amazing and captivating. I find them horrifying beyond measure, but what's a mother to do? I've considered covering him in bubble-wrap and making him wear a helmet, but I suspect that this would only give him (and me) a false sense of security. So instead I keep hoping that this is a phase he'll outgrow. Soon.
p.s.- Tanner has blue hair because of "Crazy Hair Day" at preschool. The interior ceiling of my van still has fluorescent blue marks everywhere-testament to his Tigger-like bounciness. And you may note an injury by his mouth in some of the photos. Occupational hazard of being a daredevil, perhaps? Actually, this particular injury came from ticking off one of his sisters: occupational hazard of being Bailey's brother.


Marlee & Gary said...

Oh my Goodness! I don't know how you don't go insane! I wonder what Tanner will come up with next!

kelly said...

he is the cutest! love the blue hair, caleb did that for halloween, it said comes out in 10 washes, it did not, he was blessing sacrament for weeks with blue tinted hair.
if you haven't been to the E.R. yet then don't worry (although it's probably coming, he's a boy) remember the post you had with carter doing the karate kid move on top of the van, copy cat! my friend tammy has 4 boys and her house is constant flips and jumps, the oldest moved the trampoline (without asking) to be able to jump off the roof on to the tramp, i doubt it is a passing phase!
embrace it, stunt make make big bucks :)

My Five Little Monkeys said...

Yes, he's a nut. I love nuts. I have an idea! Why don't you put that kid in gymnastics--sounds like he is putting himself into tumbling already. While I feel sorry for you (I do!) I feel compelled to add that

1) at least Tanner isn't your only girl.

2) at least there seems to be just one dare devil. Tommy is cut from the same cloth as our Jos.

Keep taking that heart medication.

My Five Little Monkeys said...

Oh, and sorry, IT IS COOL. Just not for you, the mother.

Anonymous said...

Oh my Kelly, I know what you are going through. Rusty is the same way. We better watch these two closely when they are together. Who knows what their two minds together might come up with?!

SpaceyKasey said...

Oh, I love that kid! And if he does wind up wearing a helmet I know a 2 year old who will find him even MORE cool. :)

Miss you.

Mindy said...

Yipes - I am with you. I don't know how you handle it, but I guess you don't have much of a choice. Good luck!

Larry said...

Kelly - Q told me about your blog. The pics are great. Don't know how you find the time to do all the writing...oh, I get it; you do that instead of answering your voicemails! OK, it works!

Blessings on one and all...Poppa B.