Well. We are in North Carolina at my parents' house and... it's raining. And humid. I mean, even when it's not raining, it's humid. Yesterday I commented on how humid it was and my mom said "oh it's not that humid today" and checked their weather center and the humidity was 80%. HA. In Denver normal humidity is like 20%. My hair is THRILLED that we live in Denver now. It is not so thrilled that we are back in the humidity at the moment.
The weather was sunny and mild yesterday despite the humidity, so we headed over to Pullen Park, which has a little train and a circa-1911 carousel and pedal boats and a little boat ride for kids, in addition to an awesome playground setup and lots of grassy open space. My mom says she remembers taking me and my sister and our cousins there approximately 23 years ago. It must be such a weird feeling to take your grandchildren to places that you remember taking your own children.
Anyway, Callum did well despite the fact that he accidentally rubbed sunscreen in his eyes on the car ride over and spent the rest of the drive screaming bloody murder while his eyes turned all pink and puffy and we tried helplessly to flush them out with water.
It's funny--I think of him as a happy, chortling, smiling little guy, usually with this impish sparkle in his eye and a gleeful look on his face, but watching him try new things, he is a perfect mirror of myself as a child--quiet, absorbed, and very, very serious. He laughed when he was on the slide and the swing, but when we did the train and the carousel he was very focused and didn't even crack a smile. But, you could tell that he was enjoying himself--he was just not in his usual relaxed element. He was in a new place with new people and lots of strangers, doing something different and unusual and he was taking it all in and focusing intently, and that left no time to relax or smile. EXACTLY like me as a kid.
I wonder sometimes what it's like in a toddler's head, where things happen to them and are done to them all the time with no explanation, or at least not one that they can fully absorb. We were at home and everything was normal and then we got on a plane and then we got off the plane and it was humid and his grandparents were there and then he was at a house he hasn't been to since Christmas and probably doesn't remember, and there were dogs he's not used to and everything was different, and then we took him to restaurants and parks and a million places he's never seen before. And this is what his whole life is like, constantly going places and doing things that he doesn't really know about or understand. And he just rolls with it. All toddlers just roll with it. That's their sense of their lives--that's the natural order of things for them. They are used to just being picked up and carted around and taken random strange places where they see random strange people and they are expected to like it. We saw a kid yesterday crying and refusing to go to the carousel and the parents were uselessly repeating, "But you'll like the carousel if you just try it."
And it's true, I'm sure that kid would have liked the carousel, but it's just funny because our kids have to take our word on all this stuff, we are constantly trying to get them to do things and eat things because they will like them, or at least we think they should like them. Our promises are all they have to go on and considering how often they get dragged to do things they don't really enjoy, like being stuck in the car for ages or getting a shot at a doctor's visit, I'm not surprised that our empty promises of how they'll really like the thing we're trying to get them to do sometimes falls on deaf ears.
I guess when I think about it this way, tantrums make so much sense. I know little kids like to have choices and I know that tantrums are a developmentally appropriate step toward asserting preferences and independence. When I think about all the ways in which those things are routinely ignored in little kids' lives just by dint of the way everyone's lives are structured and the difficulty of communicating complicated concepts to such new little people (it's so easy to forget that two years ago Callum wasn't even HERE yet... he's not a baby but he's still so NEW), it's not surprising at all that dammit, sometimes they just want the BLUE cup and NOT the red cup, and they're willing to throw themselves on the floor to kick and scream about it if they have to.
Not earth-shattering, something parents and child development experts have always known, but it just makes so much SENSE to me to think about it that way, and helps me not get annoyed and instead try to validate Callum's feelings when he has a tantrum or gets really upset about something that seems ridiculous to me.
And really, this kid is so very good at going with the flow. Even if he's very serious while doing it.
What things have your kids done that have surprised you in this way? Do you ever look at your kids and realize that they are doing something or acting in a way that isn't really in line with your general assessment of their personality?
New Recipe: Greek Penne Pasta - This recipe sounded delicious to me when I came across it, and it turned out that it was. Also, I've reached the point with cooking where I can make a few ...
7 years ago