This weekend we went to a splash pad to combat the heat wave that has come over central Texas.
And Declan was running around like a puppy just taken off of his leash, when I shouted from across the play area, “Watch out for the little kids!” This immediately, alarmed me to the fact that our two and a half year old isn’t one of the little kids anymore. Of course he is a little kid, but you know what I mean. He is taller, stronger, and a heck of a lot sturdier than the one and a half and two year olds out there.
So this made me think of the transition that all of us are going through at this age. As a parent, I still think of my kid as the little one that everyone else should watch out for, but as a bystander, I see that he is the one that could do harm to the many younger kids.
And then I think about it from his perspective. Only now does he need to harness his energy so that he does not bull over some poor unfortunate unsuspecting kid who has a year’s disadvantage to him.
Never before has he had the responsibility of making sure that he gives right-of-way to a smaller child. And now all of a sudden, if and when he knocks a child down, it would be me that gets those looks from the parents of the abused child that say, “Your terrible parenting injured my child!”
So, the next question is how do you convey to a two and a half year old, that he needs to let the littler ones go where they want and do what they want and have what they want, when those wants may directly oppose what he wants?
Beats me. Of course we can try to reason with him, which is getting easier these days, but that only means it went from never working to occasionally working. I suppose in time, just like heading to the splash pad when he could barely walk, he will understand more and more how to be the older kid.
But I am not sure I am all that ok with my little boy becoming the older kid. I suppose we both need some time to get used to this transition.
At least he isn’t driving yet. Next week, we’ll get back to eating!