Friday, February 27, 2009

Third time's a charm

Yesterday it was warm enough, so Ben and I went for a walk. It was nice to be able to walk around the neighborhood again. We did it a lot in the first couple months of his life, before it got cold and during the dark times before the pediatrician would let us take him into public places. Although I wouldn't have been able to function very well in public places, anyway. As it was, the 30 minute walks around the neighborhood were like zombie death marches. I specifically remember one during which I was so exhausted I seriously considered lying down on a park bench to nap. Ben was sleeping, why couldn't I? But I had to get out of the house, even if it made me more impossibly tired than when I started.

Now three months later I'm getting more sleep and Ben can manage to stay awake during a walk, so he can actually see trees and... well, that's pretty much it, since his view is skyward. But, it's more fulfilling for both of us, I think. Yesterday I decided to head to a small playground near our house. I've put Ben in a baby swing on two separate occasions and neither time he seemed very impressed. He didn't cry, but he didn't seem un-terrified, either.

But! He loves being swung around at home so much, I was determined that he would like conventional swings. He never seems to like new seats the first couple times. He didn't like his bouncy seat or his highchair at first and now he's content in both. We put him in a restaurant highchair for the first time last weekend and he didn't like it, either. So I thought maybe he just needed some practice in the swing and he'd be fine.

Turns out I was right! I sat him in the swing, pushed him gently a couple times and I finally got a smile! Then he threw in a few laughs, just for good measure. He probably knew those laughs would be insurance to keep me from tossing him out the window the next time he throws a fit when a workman is here (ed. note: I will not do that).

It was so fun to see Ben enjoying himself at the playground. And, honestly, it was very gratifying that I was right about him liking the swing. I have to decode basically everything he wants and needs and it's not always clear if I've guessed correctly. Sometimes I feel like I don't know him at all. Then during moments like that I realize I'm the person who knows him best, so if anyone has a chance of guessing correctly, it's me. I'm glad I didn't give up on the first or second try, when he didn't seem to like the swing.

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