Gaining independence

Today I was bummed once again that the weather was so crappy.  It’s way too cold for the end of May, and rainy, and grey, and ANNOYING.  I had really hoped to take Andrew to the park today and have a little picnic, but when we woke up to rain I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

I wracked my brain for indoor activities that we could do, and I wasn’t really coming up with much.  Andrew actually suggested we go to the pool, which I thought was awesome of him to request, since before James and I took him a few weeks ago he freaked out if we even said the word ‘pool’ in front of him.  I explained to him that I loved the idea and really want us to go back, but that it would be best to go with Daddy too, or someone else, so that I’m not on my own in terms of getting us sorted etc.  It’s hard to explain it to Andrew sometimes, although I think he partially gets it – that because of the babies, I have to be careful with how much I do.  I just get tired so easily, and I don’t want that to happen if we’re at the pool.  I probably could do it, I just know I’d be so exhausted afterwards.  He seemed satisfied with the idea that we’ll go SOON, and was fine with that meaning ‘not today.’ 

Instead, we hit up Ikea, and for the first time ever, Andrew was able to go to Smalland, the little kids play area/daycare.  He’s actually never, in his 3 ½ years, been in someone’s care for any time at all who he didn’t know – generally it has always been a family member.  So this was a pretty big deal for him, and for me.  He was pretty excited about it.  We got there and they measured him and it turns out he is EXACTLY 37 inches tall, and that’s how tall you have to be to get in there!  Phew!!  And thank goodness he’s potty trained (not at night time yet, but through the day he is completely), since that’s another requirement.  So he gave me and my mom each a kiss and off he went, without looking back!

We were given a pager in case they needed me to go get him, for instance if he ‘got uncomfortable’ as they put it.  Ha!  Basically I was part expecting to be paged and told he wasn’t playing nicely, and part (mostly) hopeful he would be the good boy he promised me he’d be, and we’d be able to take him back there in the future.  Luckily, it worked out that he LOVED it!

When I went to pick him up he didn’t want to come out, but I enticed him by reminding him that we were going to get an ice cream cone after we left there.  He was SO pleased with himself when he left the play area – he knew that it was a ‘first’ and he knew I was proud of him for doing so well.  I know it’s just an hour and not that big a deal, but considering it was his first time, it was pretty cool to have it go so smoothly.  He’s so outgoing and not shy and I think it helps that we usually hang back and let him do his thing at the park or whatever, so he’s used to feeling somewhat independent, even when we’re around.  Still, it felt like a big step to leave him in other people’s care, trusting that all would go well. 

It’s pretty awesome that Ikea has that service.  It’s free for one hour, which I think is amazing.  I was expecting it to cost something.  It was nice for my mom and I to be able to go and have a bite to eat together and look around the store a bit before picking up the boy.  He loves Ikea and is happy to shop with us actually, but I think it’s better for him to have that social play time.  My little boy is getting so grown up!


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