First baby stand offNovember 28, 2009 at 11:36 am | Posted in Baby Development, General Advice | Leave a comment
Tags: baby milestones, ball pit, Little Tikes car, Snakes and Ladders, soft play centres, toddler milestones
I met up with some girlfriends at Snakes and Ladders, a local play centre yesterday – a safe option when you want to give your children the chance to let off steam, catch up with friends and not have to host or clean up the mess afterwards.
On getting the bear out of the car seat it soon became apparent that we would be queue jumping, heading straight to the baby change, and putting a new outfit on before doing anything else – but now that he’s 16 months I took this in my stride having done it numerous times before, even able to smile jovially at the on looking parents as they tried to work out why my son was wearing a parka and not much else; oh apart from socks.
So we managed to overcome that little obstacle before anyone else arrived and spent the next few hours in the ball pit, up and down the slides, on the swings and bouncy castle, and dodging the huge gym balls – that my little softy decided were more terrifying than anything he’d ever encountered before, including the MMR jab, the hoover for a short time, and a small sinister purple bath time penguin that he detests with a passion.
The bear particularly likes the Little Tikes cars that you can scoot around in, and in a confident moment he approached ‘an older boy’ (all of about three years of age), and started talking to him about his position in the driving seat.
‘Sherr sherrr baa naa’ he enquired politely. This was met with a very definite and slightly defensive ‘no’. So he collected his thoughts and tried another approach – pushing his passenger along in the car. Again, ‘no’
I stood and watched, engrossed in the little scene unfolding before me. The bear is just getting to the age now that he’s starting to interact with other children. Despite being at nursery since the age of 6 months (part time) and being used to socialising, it seems he’s starting to engage with other children a lot more recently.
So as I watched, I wondered at what age do parents start getting involved when baby debates escalate into full on arguments. The little boy was starting to look pretty ticked off by this stage, a slightly concerned expression had replaced the ‘I will not be moved’ stance as he considered whether this pint sized enquirer could actually remove him from the car.
Realising that he was making no progress my son headed back to the ball pit instead, figuring that he’d be better watching from a distance until a set of wheels became free. As a parent you realise that they understand a hell of a lot more than they can actually verbalise back to you, but yesterday I learnt that toddlers understand conversation before they can talk, bargaining before they understand why, and tactics before they know the power they’ll soon have over their parents.
We went on to have lunch at a nearby pub and as all of our children sat round in their high chairs being amazingly well behaving, the bear shared his peas with his neighbour, a girl of 10 months. I felt a glowing sense of pride at my young son and his newly developing social skills.
I shall enjoy it will I can, before the bedtime tantrums, refusal to share and sit in protests in the supermarket begin…