The boys and I went to a new park this week, just a few miles south of our house. To our delight, behind the playground was a lake, complete with ducks!
Limerick absolutely loves birds and was completely captivated by the ducks. It took him a few tries to throw his pieces of bread into the water instead of just dropping them at his feet, but once he got it he didn’t want to stop.
We fed the ducks at the end of our time at the park, after a couple hours of running and digging in the sun, and I was a bit worried that the boys would be too worn out to really enjoy it – but they were so excited about seeing all the birds that they got a second wind 🙂 I was amazed at how fast our small supply of bread heels disappeared into those ducks’ tummies.
Tuesday was free ice cream cone day at Dairy Queen, and there happens to be a Dairy Queen within a block of our house, so I took the boys for their first ever ice cream cone experience. This little man was a bit overwhelmed by the cone in its pristine form, but he got all silly and happy once we reduced it down to more manageable proportions. Limerick was exactly the opposite: he plunged right into the tower of ice cream on the cone, uncaring of the creamy sticky mess all over his face, and ate quite a bit before deciding he was done, about halfway through the ice cream. The upshot of the adventure was that we had 3 good-sized cones and I ended up eating about 2 of them, between my own and helping the boys with theirs!
This little guy, while decidedly cute and happy, has also decided that it is ridiculously fun to run away from me and generally play keep-away when I call him. It is hard not to let it turn into a game every time, the way he laughs so mischievously as he scampers away! I’m having to enforce the rules a bit more strictly than I wish I had to – it’s like, if you would stay away from the road you could play anywhere in this whole huge area, but because you keep running towards the road with trouble on your face, thinking it’s a game, you’re going to have to sit with me or in the stroller. I feel like his need to test the boundaries keeps him from having as much fun as he otherwise could, which makes me sad for him.
My primary solution is to let him play, as much as possible, in areas where the boundaries are few and far between, so he doesn’t feel as much need to test: a playground where the road isn’t in sight, or where the road is on the other side of a fence; a child-safe backyard; the inside of our house or my parents’ house. In those settings, he can explore and play independently without the constant need for supervision or the shadow of a potential “no” interrupting his agenda.
Any other tips for what to do in places where I can’t control all those variables, and where the boundaries are simultaneously much tighter and much less clearly defined (for a 1.5yr old, anyway)?
Head on over to Like Mother, Like Daughter for the link-up today!