Mom and Baby’s days out – Playground Observations

playgroundToday I took J to see his pediatrician for his 15th months appointment. He got three shots and won’t have to get any more until he is 2 years old. I am always impressed with how good my baby does with the shots. He cries for a little bit and then is back to his usual rumbustious self. I went for this visit without Aaron who is traveling for work. He will return tomorrow after being away for four days. J and I have had an amazing three days so far even though we missed daddy.

Monday – Aaron left early morning. Because J woke up at 5:30 a.m., he had a good morning nap and did not wake up until 1:30 after a brief awake spell that lasted a few seconds. After that, I decided to have a lunch date with my little man and we ate our food on the balcony. It was a very pleasant day. I fed him his khicadi and ate my own chapatis and bhindi masala. However, I stopped feeding him about half way through his food and started giving him little pieces of chapatis with a little bit of the bhindi masala on it. He picked up these pieces and put them into his mouth…just like that. I loved that he was eating regular Indian home-cooked food. Of course, the fact that he was distracted by the cars, the opening and closing of garage doors, people, pets, and the sights and sounds around us may have had something to do with his eating but I am not complaining. I loved it!!

Then, right after lunch, around 3:00 p.m., we left for the lakefront. I jogged with him in our jogging stroller for a little bit, then I sat in the shade with a blanket as he ran around and pulled grass and wood chips and got chased around by me, then he had a little girl come and want to play with him. She gave him her doll and kept calling it ‘baby’ but J just took it from her hand and threw it on the grass. She kept saying ‘baby’. Haha…so cute. It’s like I can’t even get mad at J. He doesn’t even really know what he is doing. He throws everything on the floor (or grass) including his own pacifiers even though he needs them, my glasses, his bib, just about everything. He does not discriminate.

Then, I jogged some more. This time, I took another round of the lakefront trail to the north and then came back south and went all the way till the planetarium where we spent a lot of time just hanging out. It was a lot of fun too. I had previously called Gargi to come join us if she and V weren’t doing much else but because the latter was napping, she was going to join me as soon as he woke up. She along with Baby V and James and baby E joined J and me at the little hill across from the Field Museum. Because J is the oldest and likes running around to sitting, he got a little bored with the youngens and took off on his own with the blanket. By then, it was 5.30 and we needed to return home so I could make him his dinner. Overall, we had a fabulous day. I am glad I didn’t stay at home even though it was supposed to rain.

Tuesday: J and I went to the park on 15th and Wabash. He enjoyed running around and getting up and down the slide. Because it had rained a lot earlier in the day, I put him in rain boots but because they are heavy, it was challenging for him to walk or run in those so I just took them off and let him hang out in socks. He didn’t care. He had a great time at the park.

Wednesday: We went to the park on 16th and Indiana and spent some time on the swing making his happy purring sounds. After that, we went to the park on 18th and Indiana where I blew the bubbles gun for him. Usually, he enjoys these but at the park, he had a whole lot of other distractions like other people 🙂 including kids, grass that he wanted to pull and throw around, and so on. We still had fun.

A Indian kid came up with his sister and said she wanted to play with the bubbles so I blew some for them. The kid, Armaan said ‘we should set up a playdate’ and I said, ‘sure, but you should ask you mother first’ and he said ‘she wouldn’t say no’. He also asked what days I came to the park perhaps to hang out with the bubbles. Later on, as J got increasingly bored, I started to go after him and Armaan asked if I would meet his mother. I said yes but then walked toward the stroller where J was heading.

It is interesting that even though I was with the kids, both brother and sister, and J blowing bubbles with the bubble gun and chatting with them, not once did the mother come toward us to say hello or thank me for entertaining her kids. The mother was sitting by the fountain with two older Indian women and an older Indian man. I would assume she was watching what was going on and even if she didn’t hear any of the conversation, would it have killed her to walk over. Oh well…whatever.

One thing that I noticed was how disinterested the mothers/caregivers appear to be when the kids are playing. Will I be the same way? I try to be hands off when J is around the play yard but then because he is little, I want to be around him to make sure he gets the qualitative play time possible at these parks. Of course, once he is a little older, I might just let him be, pick his mates, fight his battles under my observant eyes, and play safe and kind. Even so, it was a little heartbreaking to see disinterested folks at the back of parks busy chatting with others like them or on their phones.

Another thing I noticed in the last few days is how the Polish kids speak Polish, the Russian parents speak to their kids in Russian, the Chinese moms speak to their kids in Mandarin, and yet, almost all the Indian parents at the park talk to their kids in English. Why is that? Seriously!? Why? I tend to talk to J in Konkani but I slip into English if there are people around so they don’t assume I am talking about them. I want to speak to J in Konkani alone to the extent that I can help it. Let’s see how true to this goal I stay.

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