One thing I’ve noticed since Wes has been around is that I don’t play enough. I enjoy quiet, lazy activities, like reading, painting, journaling and catching up on Gilmore Girls (somehow I missed that bandwagon in college). Wes is also a pretty quiet person, but he’s much more active than I am. And what an imagination! Who knew a child less than 2 years old could make believe so well? His interest in discovering the world has taught me several “lessons,” which I’ll outline below.
Sure, I enjoy the outdoors, but it’s WINTER. I dislike winter. Except when it’s snowing and beautiful and the sky is purple, I stay indoors with a cozy blanket and some hot chocolate. Sometimes it’s hard to put down a book or turn off the news in order to romp around on the floor and build a LEGO house that gets destroyed in .08 seconds. But I do it. And I have fun!
One recent day when it snowed, Wes really wanted to be outside. I grudgingly bundled us up and surprised myself at how much fun we had, just walking around and making footprints everywhere.
He reminded me how falling snow is just plain magical. And come on, how cute is he with his sign language?
A few weeks ago I made a big, and somewhat risky purchase. I bought a kitchen tower to keep Wes “contained,” entertained and safe while I work on dinner. It was a tough decision because it’s a little pricey, and this particular model is the runner-up to the even more expensive Learning Tower. I debated for several weeks which one to get for various reasons, but I’m glad I chose the one I did. (For one thing, it collapses and folds up for somewhat portability – this is a necessity for our itty bitty kitchen.) It allows me to have my hip and hands back, and it gives him a feeling of participation as he can see what I’m doing. It’s also great in the bathroom while brushing teeth – he can rinse his own toothbrush! We’ve also discovered just how fun it is to set in the living room and pretend it’s all sorts of things. An airplane! A tree house! Or best yet, a podium for public speaking.
Another lesson learned from my son: You can pretty much do anything or be anyone with the right props.
Wesley has had trouble getting along well with other kids his age. I really think his social skills have improved tremendously since enrollment at school. He has a chance to play alongside other kids, also known as parallel playing. This doesn’t mean that he’s actually participating in the same activity as another child, but he is close by, playing by himself. This still is important because it’s part of a gradual step toward community and sharing. However, I’ve noticed recently that he has been playing extremely well with, and not just beside, his cousins and his bestie Beatrice.
I had to include the above photo of his adorable cousin, Jeremiah. The poor kid rarely has his pants in the right place because he army crawls all over the floor, causing his drawers to fall right off. It’s hilarious. To make it even better, Jer managed to climb and plop himself inside the box of Lincoln Logs to be closer to his cousin, “Baby Weswee.” Also note that this peaceful photo of Wes and Bea was shortly lived. They are pretty much a married couple in 19-month-old bodies.
Lesson learned? You can do your own thing, and by yourself, even, but it’s just so much nicer to do it with someone else.
And lastly, Wes has shown me that life is FUN. Seriously. There’s so much stuff to do, things to see and people to meet. I feel like we get stuck in our own routine and become blinded to the amazing world and creation we live in. Wes has paved a way to open our eyes and rediscover our surroundings.
Be a goof! Go, have fun.
Tags: Beatrice, lessons learned, video, Wes
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