Sunday, April 21, 2013

Growing Up Can Hurt

We were playing outside yesterday as we often do. Dad, Squib, me, and Beanstalk. Since we last frequented the park, they had blocked off half of it, dug up the piping and taken all the climbing toys and slides. They left the courts and swings and a sidewalk to nowhere.

My main concern was that Beanstalk would aim straight for the construction area with the intent to explore it and have his way with anything left behind. Obviously we would have to move him. He would fuss (meaning have a meltdown) and Dad and I would use every muscle we had til they failed trying to calm his fly mass of arms and legs.

We ticked off a list of items we brought to build and play with outside. We started with a balsa-wood plane Dad found. It was just like the ones he used to buy us as kids. But--nope. Soccer ball--nope. Frisbees-nope. Did everything we brought fly into construction areas? Yep.

My secondary concern was still the fact that I've reached my limit as far as carrying Beanstalk. The "no-can-do" limit. Two previous bathroom trips had ended in wall-eyed fits and creative, acoustical uses of the word "no" because I didn't carry him back to our room. That used to be his reward. Since I'm his mommy and I like carrying my babies, I just kept up with the tradition. Until he was ten. Ten and three-quarters. So, he has a bit of a right to scream since I gave no fair warning of sorts. The hall from the bathroom to our room has since become really, really, really long.

When we went out to the playground, he made no move toward the construction fence (which was the plastic, floppy sort...I gave it two seconds). Dad, in his ever-blinking wisdom, put two chairs up right next to the fence and then spread out a blanket. "Please come screw with the fence!!!!" Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but long, hard stares can contain millions.

I thought I'd take charge by taking Beanstalk to swing. He liked the idea a lot.

Swinging is another difficult thing. Beanstalk doesn't hold on. At all. So, if you are "swinging" with him, you must hold him and hold on at the same time. Additionally, the swings, when still are right at a height where I barely touch. Beanstalk's legs are that length, too. So, I wrap one arm around his waist and lock it around the seat. We swing until the arm fails. I switch arms. We swing until the other arm fails. By then I usually can't use the legs much, either. We don't always make it this fair. In fact, usually he says "done!" well before the breaking point.

This day, though, he got off the swings the first time and headed off to see Dad and Squib. Then he wanted to swing again within five minutes. So, we got in line and almost immediately got a swing. He was watching some little girls play hide-and-seek in a stand of trees, so he was laughing and flapping his arms. I tired faster. So, I started trying to ask if he was done and got no answer.

Needless to say, I eventually had to get off. He wasn't happy. I took a few minutes to rest and we played with Dad until I thought I could get back on the swing with him. I was still having to control the weight of someone I could not carry. Nevertheless, I got on one last time until I literally could not make the swing "go."

That's when the meltdown started. Every time he said "no" it was like a different word. I explained the whole time that Mommy couldn't swing forever. That he was getting big and Mommy wasn't getting any bigger at all. That Mommy loves him. I hold his head so it doesn't hit anything when he tosses it back. I have to tell him no when he tries to hit people who get close to him. His "no's" start to sound different and we try to get up and make it to our blanket where he falls apart crying and I try to fold up his long body in my lap to hold him.

I think he was crying because he was tired. He had said "me tired" when we first went out. He also wanted to swing. I think he was also finally getting it. As a parent here, that's all you can do. Think. Be a good guesser. Think about what kind of "no" that was. Does he understand it isn't his fault? I don't know. Does he know he's growing up?

Will he ever be able to "schring" by himself?

I don't know now. I may never know then.

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