Yesterday we were a bit too aggressive with our schedule—for me anyway. In the morning both boys accompanied me to my very understanding chiropractor. I take them because the staff is very open to having kids around (the doctor himself has two young kids) and because the appointments only last about 10 minutes—not long enough for Max to get bored with the toys in the office.
After the appointment we stopped by Trader Joes to pick up a few things. Whenever I get out of the car with the baby I have two options—to put the carseat in the stroller frame, or to wear him in the carrier. Pros of the stroller are that I don’t have to deal with buckling/unbuckling the straps which take forever, and the stroller has a decently sized basket on the bottom that I can put groceries or the diaper bag. The con is that I am tethered to the stroller—I can’t use a grocery cart and also push the stroller and also manage a toddler. The cart is both helpful for more groceries than fit in the stroller (which is actually why we had to go to TJ’s in the first place, because I did my shopping Sunday with the stroller and couldn’t fit a lot in there—bad planning), and because a can contain Max (though he only sometimes will agree to ride in a cart). To take off after Max in a sprint would involve leaving the stroller behind.
Pros of the carrier: baby is strapped to my body so I am less encumbered and can put Max in the cart, and carry him (awkwardly) if necessary. It is a bit challenging to see him since when I look straight down I see baby. But then there is the endless unclipping and re-clipping of carseat stuff. So I alternate depending on where we are going—if we are going to the park I always wear baby since it keeps him warmer too.
Anyway, I wore baby at the store, and Max was very good and stayed in the cart, even while we were rung up which he usually doesn’t do (he did studiously ignore the checker when she tried to talk to him as is his shy method of dealing with strangers).
When we got to the parking lot he started yelling “no home NO HOME!” and wanted to go back in the store. Apparently we don’t get out enough since the chiropractor’s office and trader joes are more entertaining than a house full of toys (it was also almost naptime). We took one extra lap of the parking lot in the cart and then I put him sobbing into the car. So fun.
After his extremely short nap I decided we needed to go somewhere and we drove to the indoor toddler playground at the community center which was mercifully open this time. I left the sleeping baby in the stroller in the corner and followed Max around while he played, going to check on Mars every couple of minutes because it was so loud in there I wouldn’t be able to hear if he woke up (he slept almost the entire time, waking up just before we left to eat briefly. )
it was just his size. If another child used it while Max stepped away he would say, “oh no! My mode!” Of the 10 or so kids there it was almost all little boys burning off some energy. One mom had two boys that I thought were twins, but apparently were less than a year apart that were VERY high energy and wild. She had her hands full for sure! On the other hand they seemed to really have fun playing together.
The one thing I hate about playgrounds is how to deal with other children/parents. Max is little enough (and clingy enough) that often I need to stay close while he plays. Slightly older/more independent kids are running around alone (and often Max will do this for awhile once he has been there long enough to feel comfortable). When the big kids barge in and take Max’s toy or get in his way while he is trying to slide or PUSH HIM DOWN I am always a little unclear as to what to do. Tell them to stop? Let them work it out on their own? Max never quite knows what to do with other kids but he usually just stands there if they take things—it either isn’t his personality or it hasn’t yet occurred to him to try and take stuff back.
The sound of lots of little kids yelling, reverberating off of gym walls was a bit much for my ears. Max had a good time though, and I met another mom who also had a 7 week old baby (Mars was much bigger!) and an almost 5 year old who kept trying to play basketball on a basket that was right above my baby. Any sort of adult interaction in my day is a plus.
I understand the serious meltdown we had (along with most of the other two year olds) when it was time to leave the playground—he had a lot of fun, as opposed to the one leaving the grocery store which was to me at least a bit less thrilling.
Today it is noon and I am still in my pajamas while both boys sleep. It is raining and the indoor playground is not open at a time that works for us today (the Tuesday/Thursday session runs parallel to naptime). At least Max has been asleep for over an hour today so we are already doing better than yesterday in that regard.