A day at an indoor playground…

…with two toddlers and no baby. Obviously not my favorite place on earth with the terrible acoustics and all the screaming children, but the coffee is not bad and I’ve even managed to read a bit (a few magazine articles, not a book but I’m not complaining) and write this blog! Perhaps I should get a discount card and make this a regular thing. Note to self: bring earplugs. It could all very well be a fluke though and I may not be this lucky next time…

It’s so nice to see the kids enjoy themselves on their own (they’ve been playing with extra large building blocks for at least an hour!) ánd to be able to do something for myself at the same time. When I try to do this at home at least one of them will be crawling on my lap to hog the iPad or play the piano with me…

Being nearly the same age, there’s bound to be some rivalry between them but most of the time they’re partners in crime, playing together, plotting their next move, defending each other. Clearly they’re more at ease when they’re together, and so am I.

Just now I was watching how other, older kids were taking ‘their’ building blocks, demolishing the house they had just built and I really had to refrain myself from interfering and standing up for them. Instead I was watching them like a hawk, ready to step in if necessary to defend my little ones, wanting them to stand up for themselves and be brave, feeling their anxiety and uncertainty. I felt proud as I watched my son trying to defend his territory and a little sad that he was losing ground. When my daughter started crying (more because she was tired than anything else), I decided it was time to go. In the meantime, other even bigger kids had started rebuilding what was lost which made me smile, and my son as well.

I always struggle when I see my kids in what would qualify in their world (and probably ours as well) as a difficult situation, like for instance some kid decides to play with their shovel. Now what?! I think one of the biggest parenting pitfalls is probably wanting the best for your children, wanting to solve problems fór them instead of letting thém try, wanting for them not to make the same mistakes you did, and wanting them to be different in the process, not because they are not wonderful personalities as they are but because you recognize in them what you see as your own flaws and shortcomings. I always try to let them deal with their issues themselves, no matter how little they are, and that’s me overcompensating for my own shyness and insecurity, and I know it. But I also realize they’re still very little…so while I gently urge them to do the talking (‘my shovel’ will do), I firmly hold their little hand. 💙

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