Thanks to a fairly substantial misunderstanding on my part, Reindeer and I unexpectedly spent half of today at a local play hub with another member of our baby group.
On one level this was pretty difficult because:
- I am an introvert and find it hard to be around lots of people/focussed on a single person I don’t know well
- I was very embarrassed by my mistake
- I wasn’t at all prepared to be there (I’d thought we were going to the local nature reserve – an entirely different prospect in terms of planning!)
On another level it was great because:
- Reindeer loved it
- I had no idea this place existed but it is actually a pretty good resource
- I got to know the friend from baby group better
Initially I was taken aback by the size of the place, the hustle-bustle of maybe 150 parents and children and the massive spaceship facing the door. Once I’d adjusted to the environment, oh, how I wanted to explore that spaceship! Alas, I will need to wait until Reindeer is somewhat older.
At first he just spent some time watching the other children – as an only child he doesn’t have an older sibling to watch for tips on what to do and how to interact. Once he’d relaxed and begun chatting away as if he was at home we started exploring.
Reindeer loved the sensory baby room, in particular a fibre optic light bundle which he could grab and pull about (and chew *sigh*). He was also very taken with some bubble lights. I’ve never seen either item in the shops so will be consulting the internet tonight about whether it is possible to purchase smaller versions for home use.
We also spent some time in the toddler ‘village’ and experienced another first: going down a slide. This one was a tall, wavy one and he thoroughly enjoyed it – laughing when we reached the bottom. There were also several walker-type toys which he was delighted to find allowed his feet to touch the floor, although not quite sturdily enough to propel himself along.
At the end of all of this we were both exhausted but he was very happy and slept all the way home.
Once he went to bed this evening I needed quite a bit of time to myself to recharge my batteries. One of the downsides to being an introvert and a parent is that I can no longer avoid as many social situations as when I was just an introvert. I’m going to need to find some good strategies to deal with my introversion, as days like this will happen increasingly often over the next few years.
Watching Reindeer soak up the atmosphere and try lots of new things today has increased my determination to ensure that the introvert side of my nature doesn’t dictate what we do and where we go. Today was good for me too – the friend from baby group was really easy to talk to and I’ve remembered that I am able to speak to other people without (a) saying the wrong thing and mortifying myself and/or (b) confusing or embarrassing them by missing some social clue and saying the Wrong Thing. If I carry on like this I might actually begin to feel like a grown up…