The Park

Lately, Thomas is showing himself to be a very opinionated little boy. I say showing because he’s always seemed to have very firm ideas about what he likes and what he will and won’t do, but with language skills that leap forwards daily, he’s becoming much more adept at expressing exactly what it is that he wants at all times. I don’t mean in a demanding or tantrum-y way, but simple choices about what he wants to eat for breakfast, whether he wants peas or beans with his meal in a restaurant (a choice which will invariably change between placing the order and the food arriving, but hey-ho) or what he wants to do today.

And what he wants to do most days is the same thing. Most days it’s not a problem and we try to accommodate his request. But with the days getting increasingly short and the weather increasingly wet and cold, it’s not always a simple request to grant. On the days that we are slow off the mark, or are trying to avoid the inevitable we enter a power struggle. Me, on the one hand, keeping Thomas occupied with cars, trains, drawing and play dough. Thomas throwing furtive glances to the window, occasionally wandering to the kitchen doors and muttering “raining now” in a sad little voice.

We trundle on, each trying to subtly control the direction of the day, until the power struggle reaches its peak, usually well before 10am has rolled around. The little one raises his battle cry:

“PARK” he states.

The rest of his words are unspoken by voice but implored by the eyes “Mummy, take me to the park.”

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Thomas’s commitment to the park is strong. Rain, gales and freezing temperatures are no deterrent. A flood across the playground will not stop him. Even darkness is not a deal-breaker for him, although I do have to draw the line somewhere. But we are fortunate to live opposite a huge park and within a few minutes walk of a good playground. And so usually I give in, bundle us in to coats and secure teddy in his pushchair, complete with socks because I am told “Teddy socks on. Cold feet!” (The boy himself will not wear welly boots, however. Every effort has resulted in a miserable melt down. And he doesn’t seem to care that his feet get wet!)

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I learned quickly to always take a supply of paper towels to clean down wet and muddy swings and slides.

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And we enjoy the fact that not everyone else shares Thomas’s commitment, making the most of the empty space, free access to the best bits of equipment and a free reign to run around the mini-golf course, chasing the pigeons.

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Pigeon Chasing

Thomas loves chasing pigeons!

If it starts to rain, we have no hope of dragging him away until he is ready to leave. To accompany the resistance to wellies, he also has an extreme resistance to putting his hood up, declared loudly by the statement “No hood!” And once we do drag him home, we struggle to get him out of his wet clothes as he sulks by the door, asking to go back out.

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Poor teddy suffers stoically through it all. But unlike Mummy, once we’re back in the warm and dry he gets to rest and recover by the radiator!

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This is a very ordinary day in our lives. As much as I may sound like I’m grumbling, I actually enjoy these trips very much and I’m so happy that whatever the weather, Thomas would still rather be outside playing than sitting in front of the television. That fact makes my heart happy.

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13 Replies to “The Park”

  1. Those are gorgeous gorgeous pictures! I love his commitment to the park, even at the expense of dry feet, and he looks like he is enjoying every second – I just hope you’ve got some really warm socks for the winter!!

    1. Thank you! We do have some warm socks, but unfortunately they are not Thomas the Tank Engine socks, so currently do not pass muster! At least he mostly consents to wearing boots now (just not welly boots) rather than shoes. I figure if he is happy and not complaining, then he must be ok!

    1. I thinkit is probably a normal childhood thing. Makes me laugh though because my husband is the total opposite and puts his hood up at the merest hint of rain!

  2. What an absolutely beautiful post. That photo of him pushing the teddy in the buggy is just gorgeous. I love all your photos. We also have a little girl who braves the elements for any kind of mention of the park. It is funny how they are so small but really know their own minds.

    1. Thank you Katie. I had trouble editing this post down because I love allthe photos and they really do capture what Thomas is like at the moment. It is so sweet to see them really asserting their opinions and personality, even at this young age!

    1. They don’t seem to mind that they can never catch the pigeons! Although this weekend Thomas asked ME to chase the pigeons whilst carrying him! That may be a step too far 🙂

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