Constance Marie’s Blog: Supporting My Stuntwoman

02/21/2012 at 06:00 PM ET

Look who’s back! We’re thrilled to say hello again to Constance Marie, our original celebrity blogger! The actress, mom to daughter Luna Marie, 3, with fiancé Kent Katich, stars on Switched at Birth, airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.

Marie, 46, can also be found online on Facebook and @goconstance on Twitter. If you’ve missed any of her past posts, check them out here.

In her latest blog, the actress’s daughter is testing her body’s limits at the playground — but Marie is always there to catch her when she falls.

Check out Luna Marie’s chin band-aid! – Courtesy Constance Marie

I want to start this blog with a question. Is it just my child or are ALL 3-year-olds trying to kill themselves?!

Since my last blog, my little Gandhi gentle princess has become a clumsy acrobat/ninja! Seriously, Luna Marie is like a relentless non-stop stuntwoman — with zero technique. She cannot sit still! I thought it was only boys that went Kamikaze like this!

If Luna Marie is sitting, she is not happy unless one or two legs of the chair are off the floor. Or her body is leaning off the chair, balancing precariously at the edge. Or she’s balanced in the middle of two chairs in some kind of crazy uncomfortable-looking frog split — her favorite position.

Now before I continue, I need to point out that YES! I make sure my child is safe. YES! I keep her near me. And YES! I always use extreme caution. BUT …

If Luna Marie is at the park, my child is not happy unless she’s on the highest bar of the jungle gym or the tallest branch of a tree or jumping over the biggest, deepest hole.

Luna Marie does all this with the same two mantras. The first one: “Mommmmmma!!! Look at me!!! Look at me, Momma!!!”

For me, this is the hardest time. I don’t want to treat my little girl like she’s made out of glass or wrap her in bubble wrap or anything! And I also don’t want to be constantly correcting her or warning her. Or my least favorite, reprimanding her.

I mean, I don’t want her to be such a delicate flower that she’s too prissy to play and get out there and mix it up! I don’t want to keep her all dolled up and clean … I want her to feel she’s more than just a pretty face.

Scaring Mom – Courtesy Constance Marie

So at the park, when she’s going crazy like a Tasmanian devil — jumping, swinging, flipping and yes, falling — there I sit, stand or hover, filled with anxiety, oh so closely by my child’s side.

That’s when the non-stop debate in my head begins. Should I step in? Am I being overprotective? Am I neglecting her? Am I smothering her? Am I … am I … AM I?

THEN, when I decide to jump in and rescue her, I am LOUDLY rebuffed with, “I don’t need help, Momma!” Only to be asked literally, I kid you not, two seconds later: “Momma! I need help! Please help me!” Luna Marie pleads this desperately, like she has no recollection of the previous sentence. Crazy kid.

At the park, I usually know for sure that she’s doing something that’s going to give her a boo boo. Often I am so conflicted, but I stand back and let her do it anyway (unless she’s going to break a bone or blind herself, of course). I want her to have the experience of trial and error … to have the opportunity to find out first-hand what will and what will not work. I want her to have her process!

I sit there with the most authentic smile on my face. THANK GOD I AM AN ACTRESS! I try to say supportive things other than “good job” (honestly I think we have worn that phrase into the ground, right?). I try to be creative: “Look how strong you are.” “That jump was SO far.” “Wow you fell in the dirt and didn’t get a boo boo — EXCELLENT!”

Basically I just try not to cringe! I watch her face beaming with enthusiasm and adventure … full of just plain feistiness and pride while she experiments with her “feats of strength” — a.k.a. falling down a lot!

I mean, THAT is what we want, right? Our little girls to grow up to be independent women aware of their capabilities and proud of their accomplishments, with strong bodies and a healthy self esteem. I figure that here is where it first starts, where the rubber meets the road: the playground, with Luna Marie bumbling and tripping through her “feats of strength.”

I let her relish in all that her body and sense of adventure can do (no matter how much it frickin’ tortures me). I let her push herself. I let her experiment, to have the pride and excitement even though I am worried pretty much every single minute. Yep! I take a lot of deep breaths and am exhausted when we are done!

So proud of herself – Courtesy Constance Marie

But that’s just it, isn’t it? That’s the job … motherhood. This whole parenthood thing isn’t really about me (dammit!). It’s about her. That is motherhood — tolerating the anxiety of allowing her the room to grow. Allowing her to make the mistakes and learn from them.

Usually I try to wrap it up and leave on a high note … but sometimes, I misread how much energy she has. She gets tired, and right before I can make a hasty escape … BONK! The boo boo comes, as I was pretty sure it would.

And there I am, the momma. I try to do my best impression of a comforting superhero — like a big bear, I hold her while she cries, I soothe her, I wait. I ask for a recap of what happened. I inquire as to where the boo boo is. And after she has relaxed a bit, I ask her what she could do to avoid that boo boo happening next time. (HINT HINT!!!)

Then she whimpers a little, and then — ka-pow! — like the Energizer bunny on steroids, she’s up again and running, onto the next thing. (Please God, let her learn something about her limits, her power or her resilience … something! Please, before I LOSE it!)

Then, she starts in with the second mantra — this one is my favorite! — “Babies can’t do that.” That’s when the smile happens. The biggest, fattest, 1,000 watt smile of confidence. My little Luna Marie is so proud! She wants to prove that she is growing bigger and stronger every day. She wants to be a big girl so fast it’s unbelievable. If she could be a teenager tomorrow, she would!

That is her dream — to be older! Funny, as women when we actually are older, all we want is to be younger! OY!

Oh! My little Luna Marie has plans … she starts talking about the next time and what she’s going to do next time, and when she is bigger she’ll do more. Then again she asks me, “Momma? Babies can’t do that?” And I say, “No they can’t … you’re right, sunshine. Babies cannot do that. You are a big girl now.”

Oh my gosh! This mommyhood thing is going to be a looong ride. Wish me luck! I would love to hear your stories about your little stuntwomen and ninja men too!

Shady ladies – Courtesy Constance Marie


— Constance Marie

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Showing 38 comments

Juliane on

I don’t know if Constance reads the comments for this or not, but if she does:

Constance, you are an amazing writer! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog (and your others of course). I can absolutely sense your trepidation when your little one does something daring and dangerous. I don’t have children myself, but I had the same conflict of feelings when babysitting/nannying many moons ago.

Glad you’re back at CBB 🙂

Crystal on

Good to know I am not the only one who has heart attacks on the play ground! My son is two and thinks he’s way bigger than he is mentally and physically. He likes to run and jump and hang. There’s this curvy ladder thing he likes to go up and if I’m not standing close he might fall through! He’s done it a few times on his own and has been fine but I am always nervous of him getting hurt!

If I don’t watch him close enough he runs off and is somewhere else. Took him to the park today and I was talking to another mom when all of a sudden I didn’t see him and my panic started setting in. Luckily he was under the jungle gym looking at the ABC board. I had never been so flipping scared!

I’m so glad you posted this blog Constance! Always feels good to know I’m not the only one with playground panic! Some moms I see always look so relaxed when their kids are playing!

BTW love seeing you on Switched at Birth. It is such an awesome show! I took sign language in high school like 10 years ago but it always fascinates me! Keep up the great work with the show and with Luna! She’s beautiful!

All the best, Crystal.

CelebBabyBlogAddict on

Little Luna Marie is adorable! Great blog!!!

bevy on

I’m just glad my little girl is not the only one practically jumping off the roof. Little Luna is such a cutie. Glad to see another post!

Morgan on

If you read this Constance, know you’re not alone… my son is a few months older than your daughter and that’s all I hear, however my almost 18 month old daughter is fast following in their footsteps but lacks the co-ordination that the 4ish year olds have.

She’s already trying to jump off of things ( we do a lot of bum drops ) she tried ( and failed ) to jump down the stairs. She’ll climb anything, especially if she sees her brother doing it!!!!!!

You’re not the only one with a daredevil, and stitches, broken bones, and “boo boo’s” are a part of growing up!

Loralee on

My now thirteen year old daughter was a daredevil too. We made it through relatively unscathed-one broken leg from jumping off her brothers bunk bed ladder at 3. At 3 1/2 she climbed a ladder to the shed and was on the garage dancing and laughing. The good news it is that it does get better!

Jeannette on

My little girl is one week shy of being 2 and already is testing her limits. She climbs on any and everything. Trys to swing on the big girl swing, goes down the “big girl” slide. Jumps off the sofa…it really is terrifying. I too just let her do it so that she learns what she can safely do and not do. You gotta let them learn sometime! Great job Constance!

waitingtoplayonplayground on

This was a great blog! I loved it. Great writing. I am not a mom (yet!) We have been trying for the past couple years with no luck and recently made the choice to adopt. We have our home study at the end of the month. (So excited) Reading this article makes me long to participate in being a mother at the playground!! Loved reading this….

katie on

what an adorable little girl!

MA momma on

I cracked up when I read your description of the “froggey-legged split” because my 4 1/2 year old daughter does the same thing, only she does it between the sofa and the ottoman in our living room! Crazy kid (but secretly don’t we all wish we were still that flexible?!)

My 19 month old daughter watches her sister like a hawk and I can tell I’m in for it. I struggle with the same internal conflict about letting them fall and/or running to the rescue, but I know they have to learn sometime and they won’t learn if I’m constantly “saving” them.

Good on ya Constance. Isn’t mommyhood grand?

SMiaVS on

I’m sure she’ll be fine, but don’t feel guilty about being cautious. It’s not the same as being overprotective. Oh, and beware of bunk beds. Loralee is lucky that for her daughter it was just the ladder and a broken leg. For a childhood friend it was the top bunk and a body cast. He’s fine now (and has a baby girl himself) but it doesn’t hurt to be careful….

alicejane on

I babysat a little girl and boy over the course of about 6 or 7 years, and I remember when the girl was 3 or 4, she was sitting on the couch watching a show while I put her little brother to bed, and right as I’m coming out of his room she leapt off the couch, trying to land on the stone coffee table, and ended up landing with her chin on the edge of the table.

That picture of Luna with the bandaid on her chin reminds me so much of this! That kid kept me on my toes, she was fearless as Luna seems to be!

Luz on

My little boy is 1 and I always say to people, he thinks he’s 5!

He wants to do everything, and if he could do all the things Luna Marie can do, how would do it in a heart beat!

He loves balancing on a ball while trying to climb the couch and actually manages to get on the couch! And other times fallen HARD.

Yes, it is very stressful but I try to sit back and watch, because he has to learn, and most of the time he does. Thank God! I can’t even image what he’s going to be up to when he’s 3!!

Good luck Momma!

Kat on

I absolutely have loved reading Constance Marie’s blog! She’s so grounded, so NORMAL for a hollywood mom. I loved her on George Lopez and am LOVING her even more on Switched at Birth.

I also can totally empathize with having a daredevil princess. My daughter is all about girly stuff, long hair, makeup, pink, dresses, but she has been a daredevil of a Jane to her brothers’ tarzans since she could walk. It definitely requires a lot of gritting of teeth not to go rescue the delicate little flower you tend to think of your baby girl as and instead, let her find that she is as strong as she thinks, can be free, independent, and trust herself (all while you are closely watching lest she fall or go too high to recover from the possible fall and need comfort, soothing, or caution and redirection)

Getting dirty is good for kids, but so is learning from some (VERY MILD) injuries, such as falling onto sand and realizing we climbed a little too high or scraping a knee because we didn’t remember to hold onto something the first time we had on roller skates.

lyn on

Hilarious! I have a 2 year old boy and I swear he thinks his job is to find 100 different ways to hurt himself every day. I thought maybe it was only a little boy thing. I am actually glad to hear that little girls are just as wild.

Holiday on

My son who is 6 now was the most cautious child you could imagine! He held my hand for everything and did not climb onto the couch or any furniture. On the play ground he was so careful and to this day is very timid on the play ground compared to other kids.

Now my daughter who is 21 months is the complete opposite! She has been climbing on the couch since 11 months and tries to climb on top of her play house and can climb out of her pack and play pen. At the park she wants to do what big brother does and does not want any help. She is still so little so I do help her because I do not want her getting hurt, she isnt even 2 yet. But she scares me on an hourly basis!

Mia on

Just out of curiosity – They’re engaged….any plans to get married? – I don’t understand the point of having a fiance/or being engaged if you’re not actually going to get married…..

Either do it – or don’t….and call it something else.

I’ve never understood long engagements anyway.

Kate on

@Mia – Well, luckily it’s not up to you to understand. They have their own arrangement, and it’s not hurting anybody. Constance is obviously raising a very happy little girl, and the arrangement isn’t detrimental to this, so why don’t you let her be?

mindy on

Constance is a great writer, very entertaining parenting blog. I love that she wants her daughter to challenge herself physically and not limit herself. It’s a hard balance, keeping them safe and letting them go, in so many ways over the journey of parenthood. The playground was years ago for me. I hope that all of you with tiny tots are taking joy in these amazing moments!

Sharon on

I have a scar on my chin from falling on it not once but a couple of times. Your daughter is trying out her new found ‘I can do anything’ age. She is normal and it will stop when she realizes, ‘That hurts.’ Your comment, ‘Oh my gosh! This mommyhood thing is going to be a looong ride.’ Not true. She’ll be in kindergarten before you know it and then 3rd grade and then, aaakkk, graduating high school. Now is the time to enjoy her and her youth. It goes by real fast!

Samantha'smom on

You’re doing just fine, mom. Hang in there! Lots of kids survive childhood. 😉

Sharon on

I agree with poster Mia. It seems to be a trend now to become engaged and have a child but often never marry. It used to be that people married and then had children. I understand that times have changed but the idea of becoming engaged with no real plans to marry seems odd, especially if the couple has already committed to raising a child together.

Nina on

Constance, as a mom of a child with special needs who has NO CONCEPT OF DANGER whatsoever and acts as if he is more super than Superman himself, I understand! It’s very hard to not cradle your children but in the end the real question is how else will they learn? And that rebound after getting hurt is never an easy thing to get used to! Things will only get more fun and nervewracking! I’m on my 11th year! Keep the blogs coming, I enjoy your writing and the comments to follow. We all know as parents what you’re going through.

Kerry on

I so feel your pain 🙂 I have already been through this with a 17 and 19 year old and now have a 21 month old. He is giving me a run for my money!! At 18 months he was already scaling his crib like Spiderman and I had to buy a crib tent to go over the top of it so he wouldn’t hurt himself. He wants to climb everything and like you he is going to surely give me a heart attack!!

Being a parent is the most rewarding job in the world but it is also the most stressful.

Maria on

I LOVE this Blog! Constance Marie, you are an amazing mother, blogger, actress, and you are so down to earth! I can relate to so many of the things you mentioned because I have a 3-year old daughter that likes to explore too! Keep the blogs coming, you are doing awesome!

Stacy Medina on

I am not even a mom and I enjoy reading Constance’s blogs! The first post I remember reading was about cloth diapers and I ran and told my sister and all the moms I knew.

You have a way with words and I enjoy your adventures with your little girl! Congrats on all the success of Switched at Birth as well =)

blessedwithboys on

Don’t be a helicopter mother! When I was 3, my mother didn’t even come to the playground with me. It was just me and all the neighborhood kids, across the street at the school playground…and that was in NYC.

Nowadays, I’m too scared to let my 9yo go around the block alone, but the least I can do for him is to sit on a bench and let him play…and fall, and yes, get hurt.

I read a great article about how parenting has changed in just one generation with regard to playground safety. It even discussed how the playgrounds themselves have changed, from the old-fashioned monkey bars to these newer ones with ramps and guardrails…if I can find it I’ll come back and post a link.

Hannah on

Speaking from a kid (really a teenager)’s perspective, it is not odd that she wants to try new things, I did. I have a disability, but I still did those things. Not to scare you, but one time I did break open my head while falling off a climbing structure, but that was the only time. It is normal of both your feelings, and one day, she will probably grow out of it.

Mia Bennett on

Hi, I am a proud mom of 3, they are all over 21:

Constance, You are a wonderful role model. I have never read your blog before today, but this phrase alone tells me that you a truly a great mommy. Anyone can be a mother but it takes someone special to be a Mommy and YOU have GOT it !!!

“This whole parenthood thing isn’t really about me (dammit!). It’s about her. That is motherhood — tolerating the anxiety of allowing her the room to grow. Allowing her to make the mistakes and learn from them.”

This is the best quote I have heard in a long time.

Bless you and your family.

Anonymous on

awww she is so cute

Galen on

When my son was around 2, I took him to the pediatrician’s office-convinced I was about to be arrested for child abuse. He was always so active (and SO uncoordinated-lord love him), and his legs, elbows, and/or shins always had some scabbed up and multi-colored cut, scrape or bruise.

She was so nice, and said that she would be more worried if he NEVER went out to play. And as long as he was playing on age appropriate equipment, and I was there watching him in my dual role of cheerleader AND eagle-eyed fun police-he should be ok. I took that to mean that helmets and bubble-wrap padded sweatpants were unnecessary on the swings.

Now he is 13, is still pushing the limits on the field-thankfully using appropriate safety gear, and I am still a hot mess albeit from behind a wall or shrub (mom hovering in plain sight is SO uncool).

I am constantly amazed how much energy he has, but mostly by how much food he can eat (holy crap! You hear it from other mothers, but you never believe it until you see it with your own eyes) in one sitting (forget meals-it’s every two hours).

So basically, CM-enjoy it! Make sure she lands in something other than concrete (and not face first, either-but that’s trickier since for some reason they tend to have their own opinions about things, sheesh). She is enjoying learning the limits of this excellent body of hers, but soon (look up Erickson’s developmental stages) she is going to start worrying about her body integrity. She will need bandaids to hold in her insides (her logic-not mine) after she gets hurt. My advice, buy bandaids in 50 different designs and colors-different injuries need different heroes to keep everything in one piece! (While you are at it, buy some Johnson & Johnson stock!!). You will need them soon!

Jenn on

I love your blogs! I hope you keep blogging till Luna is 25. I’m glad that you let her get out there and play and get messy. So many mothers of daughters treat their little girls like their just porcelain dolls instead of normal kids that want to go outside and run around. Good for you!

Jenna on

This blog has nothing to do with her martial status, so why are a few of you making comments about it?

Anyway, I am having my first baby in a few weeks, and I KNOW this will be something I will struggle with. I won’t want to see my little girl get hurt, but I understand she needs to discover on her own and make mistakes and get boo boos! From my experience with other children, it seems best if you don’t rush right in when they get hurt (bump their knee or scrape)or make it such a big deal, because thats when they make it a bigger deal than it needs to be. Brush it off and get right back up!

JessicaB on

only 1 of my 3 kids was a thrill seeker. she’s 13 now and just today i had to tell her to get down from the neighbors tree. she was even with the roof of their 2 story, pitched roof house (about 20 feet up), and she loves zip-lining and dirt biking off jumps. (helmets are your friends).

Cko on

don’t worry Constance! My mom and dad said I used to do the same thing at that age! I was also prone to chasing around the boys on the playground at school trying to kiss them,and then I’d kick so no need to worry it’s not just the little boys

Dawn on

my 21 year is lucky I don’t hold his hand in parking lots anymore! Although I would if he’d let me!

Just yesterday the 18month old from across the street was standing in the street – barely, but still he was off the sidewalk and we live on a very busy street. I saw him looking both ways as if he was going to attempt to cross so I dashed out there and bolted in his house when he saw me coming. I rang and rang the bell and finally “Grandma” answered. “Grandma” doesn’t speak English much but I could tell I got my message across to her. And you know what? He was back in the yard alone later that day, not in the street, but still there were no adults around and there are least 5 of them living in that house. Maybe each always thinks the other is watching? So scary.

Holiday on

21 year old Dawn? He is a man and probably thinks you are a bit annoying and over bearing.

MM on

I believe that, as this is a public blog, people are free to make what comments they choose, provided that they don’t violate People’s policies. Those of you that are trying to censor Mia–Why so defensive??I also wondered about the use of the word “fiance.” As this is the father of Luna, the relationship must be 4+ years or more. IS “fiance” a new comfort word for people who aren’t choosing to commit but don’t want to be identified as unmarried mothers???????