On What To Do With My Kid

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What do people do with a fifteen month old?

This is the question we were asking ourselves on Sunday morning as the three of us lounged around our living room, all still in pajamas, reading the same books for the thousandth time and hearing the same song over and over and over again.

“Reeeeeeaaaaad a book from start to end, turn the page, make a friend!”

The 2 feet of snow that fell on us last weekend, paired with the blistering wind and frigid temps this weekend left us with a case of cabin fever and a one year old who was tiring of running up and down our hallways.

We had to get out, but our choices were limited. Going out to eat is not an option anymore. Since Reese started walking she refuses to be confined to a high chair at restaurants. Her true desire is to be set free to run throughout the restaurant, stick her fingers into electrical sockets and eat food off of the floor. If she does decide to stay in her high chair for a little while she will amuse herself by turning around to face the people at the table behind us and stare at them while saying “Hi” over and over again. It’s uncomfortable for everyone involved. Even when they kindly wave back and say “Hi there!” she does not relent.

“Hi.Hi.Hi.”

We ended up at the mall.

Reese was already fussing about being stuck in her stroller as we walked into the mall and as we emerged from JC Penney we saw something that we had never noticed before. A big, awesome, indoor play place that was illuminated in a heavenly glow. Jk. More like a germ infested glow, but we were ok with it.

The playground was Boston themed, had a bunch of different climbing structures, a bridge and an arch to the “Public Garden” which was full of colorful duckies for sitting on (Reese’s fav.) There was a wooden pirate ship, a mini climbing wall, and a couple of slides. Literally, everyone and their mother was there. Apparently this is what people do.

Being there made me feel very parenty;  following Reese around, asking her not to take toys from other kids, comforting her when another little boy’s aggressive “hug” took her to the ground. I tried not to think about all the things that had probably been peed and puked on and just let a girl live her life, but it wasn’t easy.

Despite this, we all had fun and although some rules were broken, (Andrew went up into the “tree house” which we later learned was strictly forbidden. “Absolutely no adults in the play structures” read the sign we only noticed upon leaving. Who would have thought? A grown man, not allowed in a child’s pretend tree house? How dare they! ) we’ll be back. If they let us.

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