even in the kindest and most loving families two-year-olds must be reminded a hundred times a day, perhaps by the words and acts of their parents, perhaps by events, perhaps by Nature herself, that they are small, weak, clumsy, foolish, ignorant, untrustworthy, troublesome, destructive, dirty, smelly,even disgusting.  they don’t like it! neither would i.  neither would you.

John Holt in Teach Your Own

last week Mabel and i were on our way out of the library.  she wanted to go down the stairs “all by myself!”  so i went on ahead and waited for her at the bottom.  out the door of the library came some loud teenagers and a man in a hurry.  as they swept past Mabel, i got to see what must be her daily experience.  she was nearly stepped on, overwhelmed, in the way.  of course, she was just fine.   but i got to see just how big and fast this world is for her.