So I'm getting more than a little bit concerned about our upcoming holiday (if you missed that post by "our" I mean Chloe and I, Robert will be living the life of a bachelor for a fortnight).
The thing is Chloe is very independent for a five year old, you could never describe her as being clingy or attached to my apron strings. She's also very familiar with the area we live in and the town as a whole, because I don't drive most of our time together is spent locally so she always knows exactly where she is. If anything this has made her even more independent and I'm confident enough in her ability and the fact she has some common sense that I let her have a lot of free reign, or at least what she considers free reign.
I let her go into shops by herself while I wait outside and I don't make her stay within arms reach of me while we're out and about. She's always in sight but for instance I'm fine with sitting outside The Streat having a coffee while she plays in the square with whatever kid she's just met for the first time. Plus we've more safety nets in place than I could even list here, if we were to become separated Chloe knows exactly what to do and where to go depending on what part of town we're in whether it's the statue in the square, my old office or any one of dozens of shops staffed by people who know her and know my number.
Giving her so much leeway also makes it a lot easier on both of us when I have to take it away for one reason or another. Like if we're at the museum, obviously they don't want kids tearing all over the place and because it's a one off thing Chloe's happy enough to stay within arms reach without being frustrated or getting an attitude. She always knows it will be business as usual once we're home again.
The problem, and I know this is a complete cop out, is that I've always passed the buck when I need to reign her in for while, "the museum don't allow kids running around", "Kids have to stay with their mummy in the supermarket, the manager says so!". You get the idea. It never started as intentionally lazy, we just genuinely only visited places with rules about kids to begin with, but sometimes for the sake of a quiet life I have stooped to blaming someone else for her having to stick by me.
I know, trust me I know!
Only now we're off somewhere for two weeks to a place neither of us have been before, we won't know anyone from Adam and I can hardly tell her the entire country wants her to stay close, can I? She just isn't that gullible.
I've tried explaining that she'll have to stay a lot closer to me than she's used to, and we've had lengthy conversations on the subject where she'll spend a good 30 minutes agreeing that it's much better and much safer to stay close, only to walk away after we're finished talking and casually fling a comment like "sure the pool's not far away", or "Aimee's been before, I'll stay with Aimee" over her shoulder. Aimee's 8 by the way. I've visions of much frustration and tantrums on both our parts. I may need a holiday to recover from this one.