We were amazed when Elliott learned how to crawl. Delighted when he learned how to walk. Kinda relieved when he learned how to feed himself (although the cleanup, oy.) All part of the growing up, the becoming a kid and not a baby, and it is awesome, seriously.
The learning how to open doors, and how to open the baby gate that (until a week ago, anyway) successfully kept him from going upstairs and getting into mischief? Well, I hope we’ll be forgiven for our less-than-enthusiastic response to these milestones. *Sigh*
It’s 60 degrees outside today. We just finished eating lunch, and I put Ele’s jacket on and said, as I opened our glass back door, “Time to go out and play in the backyard!” All kinds of protests, “Hold me! It’s coldie! I don’t want to”, etc. ensued, and I knew (having passed the milestone of door-opening) that even if I took him on the deck and showed him how great it was out there, he’d just open the door and come back in behind me. I really just wanted to sweep the floor and clean up after lunch, and Elliott has this way of sort of standing on the dirt piles that makes cleanup a little impossible. He’s a boy! He should be outside! He doesn’t need me to be beside him all day (right?). So I put him out on the deck. Lots of toys out there. Fresh air, and all that.
See, having my kids play in the backyard while I had 5 minutes to do the dishes or sweep the floor or some other household task was this dream of mine when we bought this place. I could picture myself in heels and an apron, hair in a perfect up-do, peering smilingly out the kitchen window at my two kids quietly swinging or playing in the grass, as I hand-washed the dishes and dried them with a checked towel.
Or maybe this was a leftover episode of Leave it to Beaver, because this dream in my head is actually in black and white.
Enter reality. I’m wearing jeans and flipflops and a t-shirt. There’s still a pile of dishes in the sink, but in order to get Elliott out the back door and distracted for long enough to actually have fun out there, I had to get serious. Every time he opens the door, I just put him back outside, come back in (broom in hand) and close the door again. This last time, he just stood there, squashing his cheek against the glass door for about 30 seconds, shouding “Let me in, mama! Let me in!”, then one arm flew up, and he opened the door again. Mama ushers him back outside. Door closes. After 4 or 5 of these revolving-door incidents, he realized (as I hoped he would) that it’s FUN outside! There is fresh air! Toys! A yard to run in! And mama needs to sweep the freaking floor from the lunch crumbs (see the milestone about learning how to feed himself above…)!
It’s been 10 minutes. I swept the floor. The WHOLE floor, without leaving two little boy-feet shaped piles. I can see him through the back door, playing on the deck from here, two feet away. I made this post, and I’m going to go out and swing him now. Sometimes milestones make you gasp with delight. Sometimes they make you just sigh and shake your head and brace yourself for the next adventure. :)
Why can’t they learn to open doors later? Like after they learn how to drive?