Sometimes I'm paranoid about ZK. I just want to protect him, to keep him from harm. We keep all window grilles locked, even windows with nothing under them in case he decides to push in a chair when no one is looking. We keep him away from the rubbish chute cos that's another "window" in the house and worse cos it's easily accessible with no lock.
But within these limits, we try to give him freedom. He can do anything he likes in a safe zone. He can put (big) things in his mouth, much as I don't like it. He can fall, even though it may hurt - him physically and me in my mind.
And just as I impose limits on ZK, I must impose limits on myself. I must allow him to learn. At this age, he learns mostly by observing and by touch. If he falls and it hurts, he learns to not fall. I must let him fall and not over react. He needs to learn pain but not fear it. He will recover and be stronger.
But I stop at one thing... I remember years ago in Chinese class one day. My teacher told us how she pretended to be not afraid of a cockroach in front of her children so that he would not learn that kind of fear. I don't know if I can do that!!