Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Parenting Outside the House

On Memorial Day it was raining in Atlanta and Brian was only able to break away from his work for about an hour, so we decided to go the Children's Museum of Atlanta.  While most of the exhibits are for older children, and I can't wait to take Evan there once he is older, they have a nice crawl/play space for children under 2 years of age.  It was ideal for Evan since he needed to burn off some energy and I needed him to do it in a place more child friendly than the loft.  So, while he ran through the tunnel, played with fish and blocks, and stared at himself in the mirror, I started to try and figure out how to parent outside the house. 

I believe what Evan is doing here is head butting his image.  This is something he and I do a lot.  I go in and then rub my forehead against his.  So, do this mean he loves himself or that he loves the image which he doesn't know is himself?

You see, this is the first time where I've been with Evan around other children and he was mobile.  He has been to playcare at the YMCA but I'm not there.  And the other times we were around a lot of children was when he was just turning to roll over.  So, basically I put him down and checked on him every once in a while.  Nothing happened.  He was like a sack of potatoes (a very cute sack of potatoes but potatoes nonetheless).  And I realized I'm not really sure what to do.

Here is the thing.  I'm a pretty laid back parent.  As long as Evan isn't in immediate danger I pretty much let him explore the world.  Around other kids, I try and make sure he doesn't hurt them (like when he was trying to crawl over a baby, I stopped that).  I extend this belief to other kids.  Like a little boy wanted to see the fish Evan was playing with so he came over.  He was standing in front of me and Evan was next to him.  I had my hands out to make sure he didn't fall or go to step on Evan and all was good in my world. His mother, however, was trying to get the little boy to come back to her and apologizing to me.  I told her, again and again, that it was no big deal.  And then I realized... maybe it was a big deal to her.  Maybe she didn't want me catching her child or maybe she didn't trust him around babies, or maybe a bazillion other things.  And then I thought how awkward it would be for her if Evan was over near her... because I wouldn't care.  But she might.

This all gets very confusing and rather annoying.  I have my first playgroup at someone's house with children Evan's age next Monday.  I wish someone would post rules or protocol so I knew what was okay.  He is only 9 months so I don't expect him to understand the nuances of how societal interactions work... so I guess it's up to me.  And I can only assume that parents will tell me if they don't agree with how I'm interacting with their child.  This is why I'm a hermit, this stuff is just too difficult.  But, Evan needs friends so I have to start somewhere.

On a side note, I had this conversation with him and this is the face he gave me:

I think he is pretty much telling me to get over it and just let life be... he is wise beyond his years.

No comments:

Post a Comment