I don’t know about other rookie parents, but this mom was rather concerned about how the toddler in the house was going to treat the Christmas Tree. Last year he wasn’t even crawling well. But now, at 18 months old, he walks, even runs. He’s fully capable of approaching my precious Christmas Tree and yanking everything off of it. I know, I know, it’s not that big of a deal. If an ornament or two gets broken I can just buy more next year. But to me, it was a pretty big deal. I like things nice and neat and orderly, and that includes my Christmas Tree. I didn’t want even my own sweet child to mess it up. (My longing for a clean and orderly lifestyle sometimes doesn’t mesh well with the ways of a very young child.) I considered fencing in the tree with a playpin type of thing. I was going to spend $120 on it. My tree was worth it. But I calmed down a bit and decided to give little Rowdy the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he wouldn’t destroy the tree. Just maybe. I assembled and decorated most of it while he was sleeping, so that process was pretty smooth. When he first approached it, I decided to simply tell him “No”, “soft…gentle” and things of that nature to see if I could talk him out of wreaking havoc on my holiday centerpiece. And, you know what? It actually worked… mostly. I mean, he is a 1-year-old for heaven’s sake. If he was left completely unattended with that tree for an extended period of time he might very well demolish a few ornaments. But considering that he is rarely in that room alone with the tree, I’m able to immediately remind him not to grab something or to be gentle when he touches it. I’ve noticed that with certain things, I can give Rowdy a chance and he usually pulls through for me (usually). The Christmas Tree is one of those things. Well, this year it is. Next year he’ll be 2 and who knows what new adventures that will bring.