In all of the baby books I have ever read the experts say tossing your baby in the air is dangerous and shouldn’t be done. I don’t know if that applies to toddlers too, because to be honest, I haven’t read a baby book in a very long, long time now. I’ve kind of given up on making sure we are normal and doing everything the right way. That’s probably why Jim and Tiny-Small have such a good relationship. I’ve stopped butting in with all of my cautionary tales of woe.
As soon as Jim gets home from work Tiny-Small runs screaming towards him with her arms up in the air. She is usually begging, “Dada! Dada! I go fly? I go fly?” Then he swoops her up and starts tossing her in the air like a sack of potatoes and I have to turn around and look the other way. I’m scared he will miss catching her during one of these mid-air tosses or that she’ll end up with some freakish form of flying-baby whiplash. He never misses though and she is always fine. I turn away and let them have their fun so they won’t see all of the motherly fears written across my furrowed brow. Tiny-Small screams with joy for more and more and more and her father usually accommodates her request.
Dads make toddlers go zippity-do-da and what I mean by that is they have fun and take risks and live as close to the edge as any person can with a tiny human in tow. I never toss Tiny-Small in the air or let her ride the dog like a pony. I don’t fly her through the air like an airplane or push her (much too fast) on her little ride on bicycle toy (be still my rapidly beating heart). Her daddy does though and she loves him dearly for it. I’m glad she has a dad that plays with her and teaches her it is OK to take risks sometimes and to let loose and have fun. She knows she is loved and safe even when she is flying like a bird and bouncing around like a pogo stick. It’s good for her development. It gives her confidence in her own body and it also makes her happy.
Daddy is the master of laugh, fly, sing, cry (only tears of joy though). He gets to end his day singing “Zippity-Do-Da” to a slightly over stimulated, twirling, whirling, laughing little girl. He gets to make our toddler go zippity-do-da and I think she loves him for it.