Before the holidays, my friends on my Facebook Homeschool Group shared information about a Groupon for a new Jump place that was opening and they planned to attend the first week of January. I went to the site and saw pictures of giant padded sided trampolines and learned there was a separate area for younger kids. I knew my younger two would like it and maybe my oldest. I bought three Groupons.
My daughter came down with the coughing crud I had before Christmas and wasn’t up to jumping today and my oldest wasn’t interested, he is a jump alone kind of guy.
And so, Jason, my almost three-year old (his birthday is 4 days from today), and I headed out alone to drive across town to go jumping. Well, I had a ticket for him and not me, hadn’t even thought about if I could get a ticket but had assumed his sister would be jumping with him when I got the Groupons.
As usual he was slow to warm up and despite being only one of two kids- the other was my friend’s son that he knows even though they don’t interact much yet- and it took him time before he would try. I sat on the edge and even walked on the trampoline surface with him- as you can walk right up to it at the same level, but was told by the nice attending employee that due to liability, I wasn’t allowed on the trampoline surface but she got her manager and they had me sign a waiver and get a red arm band and I then got to join him (at no charge- shh,not sure if that is the policy)!
He still didn’t like the girl who was working there and wanted her to leave which he expresses well for a 2-year-old and then other kids came to the area and he doesn’t like people he doesn’t know.
Then we jumped into the foam pit and luckily there was no one else around at first because he got to stay in the foam pit which he loved. He was sad when we had to get out of the foam pit to let others jump into it but I convinced him to go to the other area that was just trampoline space and we began jumping!
It was frustrating when we were there with just my friend and her son and he wouldn’t try it, yet all my children have been “slow to warm up” kids. Sometimes with Jason, it takes him until it is time to go home. That is always sad and challenging to have him riding in the car home saying “I want to swim” or “I want to get my hair cut”.
It was so great that I got to join him today. It was fun and took his mind off all the other people, who he usually calls “evil” and describes how he will knock them down or put fire on them. The only other kids about his age were also jumping with a parent which was good to see.
I think we push kids away from us before they are ready and miss opportunities to spend time with them when they are small and want to be with us. Trust me, it doesn’t last. Sure, I am very close to my older two children and we spent a lot of time together but there is nothing like the love of a toddler who wants to marry you and live with you forever. I guess I like my kids when they are in the “need mommy” stages. It seams simpler to help them when they are young or even ill and just want to sit with mom. I know I appreciate my youngest as a toddler more than my older two because my older two are 9 and 14. Even though, he is my most challenging toddler!
He used to want to be big like his sister and brother but lately has been telling me he wants to stay “wittle” and stay with me. I am happy to hear this. I tell him he can live with me forever and he will be little for a long time. It is good to enjoy being little and each and every age of our children because it all passes….and too quickly.
A good reminder to me for sure because I have my days when I wonder why I had more than one child or long for the day when they are all out of the house. But not really. Life can be crazy and noisy and out-of-order at my house, but I do like having children and three of them. I still wish I had four because it would be more even but that didn’t happen and instead we somehow have a dog instead (I am so very much a cat person) and so she is number four.
Now,I need to find a way to remind myself of this every day and especially during the really challenging times. This makes for a good New Year’s Resolution. To remember how much I love having kids and to remember that they will soon be 3, 10 and 15……and then 18, 25 and 30! Enjoy them for who they are right here and now.