My husband and I were the typical newbie parents. You can spot newbie parents a mile away, they are usually the parents carrying an entire Babies-R-Us around for a trip to the park while hovering over their new bundle of joy with a pack of disinfecting wipes. They sit in the grass while their precious baby lays or sits on a blanket and they discuss the day their child will be running and playing like all the other children at the park not knowing what the reality of a mobile child entails.
As my husband and I would be selecting the prefect spot on the grass, one of us with every possession my son had and one of us carrying our son in the car seat I would tell him how thankful we would be when our son was walking. We wouldn’t need as much stuff for him; no bucket car seat and no need to pack the big stroller just to play at the park. Somehow in my frazzled mombie brain I had concluded a self-propelled toddler would be easier than a stationary baby who still required a parental mode of transportation. The day my son learned to run was a dose of reality.
That boy is fast and a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I don’t know where he gets it from; my life is not fueled by adrenaline and I always joke that I married Mr. Safety so it can’t be from my husband either. People keep telling me the thrill ride we seem to be on is because we had a boy, I don’t know if this is accurate because I only have a boy so I have no comparison but I have to believe there are parents of little girls out there who are living with the same scenarios.
When we go out now I can fit everything I need for my son in a small backpack. I have realized everything must be in a small backpack because I have to be prepared give chase at a moments notice to a small, quicker than he looks toddler. Not only is he fast, he is fearless. I feel as though he does things just to scare me in fact I’m sure of it because right in the middle of a terrifying situation he will stop and call ‘Mum’.
Last summer we got him a playhouse, a hard plastic one with a door, couple of windows and on the one side it has what is supposed to be a stove. It is really only a small cook top looking piece of plastic that when flipped over becomes a table. A few weeks ago it was beautiful outside so I decided I would set up the playhouse up on the deck for him, and when I say I set up I mean I went and found my husband and I supervised while he lifted the heavy playhouse on the deck. It was pretty dusty from a winter outside so while my son was playing in it I washed it with soapy water. We are having a grand time with the bubbles and I can hear him inside the playhouse when all of a sudden it gets very quiet and then I hear “Mum”. I look over and in the five seconds it took me to wash one window my knee-high ninja has flipped the stove over to tabletop and is standing on it clapping at the amazing feat he has preformed. Then, because he has no concept of height, decides he is going to walk off the table. I scooped him up in the nic-of-time and he laughed like we were playing airplane. He’s giggling and I was struggling to bring my heart rate out of stroke range.
Now when we go the park or outside to play there is no more sitting on the grass thinking about what the future might hold. I feel trips outside or to the park have morphed into my personal round of American Ninja Warrior, my son on the other hand loves the outdoors and exploring, nature is a great adventure filled with new experiences. I love seeing him explore and learn but every now and then when I see new parents lounging on the grass, I remember how nice it was to just sit in the grass and soak up the sun. Looking back, being my tiny humans pack mule wasn’t all bad.
Christina Komives is sales manager for the Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.