It’s been a while since we’ve taken Norton to the toddler playground. The toddler playground across the street from my house is out; all that it has are playground swings, and Norton doesn’t like those. The toddler playground on the next street over has other things, but Norton doesn’t actually like the slide either.
Since our weekend had most definitely not gone anything like the way it was supposed to, we wanted to try to make sure that Norton at least got some time to play outside. It was a nice day out and Norton woke up happy from his nap. Plus there was an old fashioned steam engine train that had just started operating at Fort George Park that I really wanted to take Norton to go ride. You know, since we didn’t get to go to Barkerville like we’d planned.
When we got there, the train was already closed for the day. We soldiered on, though, and decided to take Norton out to the playground. The first stop was to check and see if maybe he’d changed his mind and decided that the playground swings were good.
I didn’t even get to push him before he started screaming.
Okay, no problem. If the swings wouldn’t make my toddler happy, we’d just try something else.
We climbed up onto the deck of one of the climbing structures to play. There was a spinning wheel that I thought might be appealing to Norton. I sat down on a step and started to put Norton down. He cried. This time, though, I persevered. I stayed near him and let him cling to me while I demonstrated spinning the wheel. That got a smile. After a couple of minutes, he got a little braver. He released his grip on my sweater with one hand and began to spin it himself. Then he got a little braver still and decided to completely let go of me in order to play with that wheel.
And my boy decided to try to walk closer to his daddy. I snatched him up before he went over the edge of the deck.
And he cried. Again.
I wouldn’t be deterred. Norton is a boy, and aren’t little boys supposed to do things like play outside? So it seemed like a good idea to try another piece of toddler playground equipment. I carried Norton over to the little rocking… train, I guess? Anyway, it was sort of like a teeter totter that was designed for one. I put him on the seat. And he cried.
We gave the slide a try. More toddler crying. Then the husband dropped his glasses and found them broken. (It looked like some kid stepped on them and then the lens popped out. It was repaired later that afternoon.)
I realized that Norton was afraid of the other children and afraid to let go of me. Uh-oh….
It took a little while, but we did finally get him to let go of me and play with the wheel on the spinning platform. And that went okay, providing no children approached us.
Did your child express fears on the toddler playground?