Sunday, September 15, 2013

Climbing to New Heights

The last week was really tough for me, due to the unending heat in my school, which isn't air-conditioned. School was cancelled for students on Tuesday and Wednesday, but teachers still worked the whole day. I am pretty sure I had heat exhaustion on at least a few of the days, and I didn't start feeling better until Friday, when the temperatures cooled off. I probably have the hardest time parenting when I'm not feeling well--I just want to rest and recuperate, and little children always need something.  On Friday, I was feeling a little guilty about not playing with the boys much during the workweek. Nick asked me when Greg dropped the boys off around 4 p.m., "Mommy, do you feel sick again or can you play with us today?" I was pleased to respond with, "I feel better, Nick. Should we go to the park?" The shrieks of joy that reached my ears answered that question, and so off to the park we went.

Please note the joy radiating off of him in waves. 

I try to maintain a delicate balance while the boys are playing at the park. I don't like to do the helicopter parent thing and be a spotter for every climbing attempt. However, I don't feel comfortable waiting off to the side when I can't keep track of where they are, especially since they tend to run in opposite directions.

Henry has been pretending more when he plays. In this case, he was an airplane preparing for takeoff.

Instead, I like to find a central point between the boys and casually keep both of them in my peripheral vision. I let them talk and play with other kids and I try not to interfere unless I see something dangerous or mean. (I'm happy to say those incidents are far less common as the boys are learning to get along with others.)  I always snap pictures along the way and chat with the boys as they are playing. I think I get more exercise than the boys, just trying to keep them in sight!

Every parent struggles with when to help and hover and when to back off and foster independence. I'm pretty proud of my kids' level of independence at the park.

Henry keeps surprising me with his climbing abilities. He prefers the equipment meant for the bigger kids, and often he rebels at any help I might offer. Instead he struggles and tries repeatedly to get to the top, shouting in triumph when he finally reaches the top.

"Hi Mommy! I up!" said Henry proudly.

Nick is slightly less likely to take chances, though he likes to climb as well. He'll ask for help if he needs it, though, and will help Henry out, even if Henry would rather not have the assistance.

The only hard part is getting them to leave when its time to go home. I'm looking forward to some nice cool fall days where the boys can play at the park after school.

No comments:

Post a Comment