One year olds can be a tough crowd. Theyâ€™re discovering independence and yet donâ€™t have the words to express what they want and when they want it. On top of that, they have small attention spans.
So with that in mind, Iâ€™m trying to figure out how Iâ€™m going to spend my downtime with the little guys this summer. We HAVE to get out of the house more than last summer. I swear our neighbors probably though we were animal-hoarding shut-ins or with the Witness Protection Program or something. I was just too terrified to leave the house with newborns.
This summer, Iâ€™m still terrified but for different reason. Theyâ€™re just a whole lot more difficult to manage now and a whole lot more likely to have a tantrum â€“ or two â€“ in public. (I thought they had to be at least 18 months before toddler behavior kicked in. Not so. Their favorite thing right now is to scream and launch their bodies backwards, often slamming their heads against the floor. Yep. Happens daily.) And yet, theyâ€™re also at the age where they are starting to find wonderment in the outside world. And as a parent, thatâ€™s what makes it all worthwhile, right?
A trip to the Red River Zoo this past weekend gave us a glimpse of that. The boys were smiling, pointing at everything, and babbling the whole way. I have no clue what they were saying, but I imagine it was something along these lines:
Graham: â€œHey, Gray, did you see that llama? Remember when mommy read us that book about llamas and red pajamas? â€
Grayson: â€œCool, bro. I wonder what his fur tastes like?â€
At any rate, they seemed to be enjoying their time.
We also bought some baby/ toddler swings this past weekend for our backyard play set. This, too, was a big hit with the boys and a good way for mom and dad to have an excuse to be outside on Sunday.
But thatâ€™s where I run out of ideas.
This was on my mind again today after reading a blog post from my co-worker, Sherri Richards. She was relating how when her daughter was 14 months â€“ the age of my boys now â€“ she feared she and her husband would never be able to enjoy the ballpark again. Turns out that wasnâ€™t the case. Now theyâ€™re enjoying baseball games in a whole new way â€“ through the eyes of a 3 year-old girl. I couldnâ€™t help but think â€¦ I canâ€™t wait until my boys are three!
I know I shouldnâ€™t say that and donâ€™t really even mean it. I never want to wish time away. But I am eager to be able to experience more things with them and to be able to take real family outings again to places other than to the store to get diapers. The day will come, and it will be wonderful.
In the meantime, Iâ€™m curious what other local activities and events are suitable â€“ and manageable â€¦ if itâ€™s too stressful, itâ€™s not fun â€“ for a 14 month old. Make that two 14-month olds. Iâ€™m determined to make the most of the next three months.