I think it’s so cute when my son runs after a parked school bus in our neighborhood, shouting, “bus! bus!” I love that he announces “ba-ga!” every time he spies a garbage truck. I’m cool with the love of “Thomas the Train” and the adorable little “choo-choo!” sound he makes when he’s playing with his trains. For the first 18 months of his life, I felt like I “got” him. It was easy; he was a baby. Everything was new and everything was an adventure. But just recently, as he turns the corner toward two, things have begun to change. All of a sudden, my baby has turned into such a… boy.
Just this morning, there he was at the playground, throwing mulch down the slide. I thought it would be great fun to play hide and seek in the playground equipment. But nope, my son wanted to play in the dirt.
And it doesn’t stop there. All of a sudden, he’s obsessed with playing catch, pushing himself in his buggy down the driveway at way too fast a speed, and throwing his trucks on the floor, just to see what happens. As I watch his little girl friends gently play with the Little People, my son is running across the living room, sliding and tumbling into the carpet, just for fun.
Now, my son is generally a gentle soul. He’s not huge into roughhousing, so this abrupt change has taken me by surprise.
I was ready for a boy. I just wasn’t ready for a boy.
Often, my husband seems to completely understand where he’s coming from, whereas I feel clueless. Case in point: The other day my son was lying on the floor pushing his bus around. “Is he tired?” I asked my husband. “Why is he lying on the floor like that?”
My husband didn’t miss a beat. “It’s better to lie on the floor when playing with cars. Then you can see them from the side; the way they were meant to be seen. Looking at a car from the top just isn’t the same.”
I never would’ve thought of that.
My baby, my boy, who is quickly turning into his dad’s shadow, is interacting with the world in his own way; a way that I may not always understand.
But then, there are things like what happened this morning. At Gymboree, after he ran away from me, squealing with delight and playing on all the equipment, he froze, made eye contact with the teacher, pointed at me and say, “Mommy.” Then he ran back to me and put his head on my shoulder. He was letting me know, “I will try out this world on my own. But I still need you and love you.”
I may not always understand why he wants to play in the dirt or throw his truck down the stairs. But as long as he understands that I’m here for him whenever he needs it, I’m succeeding.
About The Guest Blogger:
Sarahlynne Davis, MEd is an experienced educator with 8 years of teaching experience in 3 states. She is featured as a Yahoo! Shine Parenting Guru, but you can also find her on her blog, www.merelymothers.com, which analyzes our generation of mothers and the decisions we make as parents. Twitter is a fun place to hang out too; follow her at @Sarahlynnes or @merelymothers.