Waltz In Exile

13 June 2008, 6:09 pm
Filed under: P2 | Tags: ,

Wretched morning. P2 is just finishing up his second week at day camp, and today the campers are taking a field trip to Indianapolis to go ice skating. Which P2 has never done. Which means, of course, that he is anxious and grumpy about it, not excited. Which means that I have no idea what to do with him (you’d think I’d be used to that feeling by now but nooooo.) When I was little, I used to love trying new stuff. Love. It. P2? Not so much. Our entire morning was one tired loop of the following conversation:

P2: I’m not going.

Me: Yes, you are going. Everyone is going. You have to go.

P2: I’m just going to stay home today.

Me: No, you cannot stay home today. P3 is going to daycare. Daddy is going to work. I am going to work. And YOU are going to camp.

P2: I’ll just go to your work with you.

Me: No, I’m sorry, but you can’t do that today. So you’ll have to go to camp, which means you have to go on the field trip.

P2: FINE. You are SO. MEAN. FINE. I’ll go. But I’m not skating.

Me: No one is going to make you skate. But you might want to try it; it might be fun. Remember how you weren’t sure about skiing and then you went, and you had a great time…?

P2: No, I didn’t.

Me (to myself): OMG whose child ARE YOU?

Silence ensues for about 45 seconds. Conversation starts over. And over. And over. The entire morning. By the time I got to the office this morning, I was on autopilot. Took me a while to have an actual, spontaneous conversation.

I should have known he’d be like this. When he was 9 months old, he started pulling himself up to stand. Part of me was excited (Wooo Hooo! Look at my physically advanced Prince of the Universe!) and part of me was horrified, remembering tales my Mom used to tell of how I walked at 8 months (what she actually used to say, in an exasperated, exhausted, matter-of-fact way, was: “She never toddled. One day she just stood up and took off. She’s been going ever since.”) — I wasn’t sure I was ready for a toddler yet.

Turns out I didn’t need to be ready just yet. We kept waiting to see his first steps, to capture the moment forever. Instead, what we saw was this too-mature look of concentration on his face, complete with PA’s pressed-together lips and my vertical frown line between his brows. I swear I could see the wheels turning in his brain. And after he’d done this a few times — stand, think, consider, sit down without taking a single step — I realized what was going on. He wasn’t going to walk until he KNEW he could walk. This went on for almost 5 more months. Then, on the day he took his first step, he actually took a lot of them. One minute he was sitting on the floor in the dining room and the next thing I knew, he was gone. Of course, I started panicking (and yes, I’ve been going ever since.)

I don’t have a clue what I can do to make him more adventurous. But why should this situation be any different from the rest? I’m not sure I’ve had a clue since he left the dining room on 2 legs 5 years ago. It’s not new territory anymore. And I’m scared to death of that.


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[…] let fly the peppy cheerleader on the way to P2’s day camp to keep his spirits up about the day ahead, just in case they’re doing something new; […]

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