I love our backyard. Sure, there are things about it that aren’t what I’d have intended. I’d love a backyard without a mini ski hill. I’d love to have a green thumb and be able to plant a garden. I don’t have those things, but what I do have is a little place for toddler adventures. Those toddler adventures are generally just Norton and his trusty sidekick T’akaya the Brilliant Border Collie. I’m generally watching from inside.
Our backyard has a little swing and slide and a sandbox, but other than that, it’s pretty much open space. I can’t help but be amazed at how things have changed with my little boy. At the beginning of the summer, when he’d fall down, I’d have to go pick him up. He hated touching dirt so much that he wouldn’t even get himself up when he fell because it meant putting his hands on the ground. If he should, by some unfortunate twist of cruel fate, get anything on his hands, he’d run to me and wipe his hands on my pants. He couldn’t even stand to wipe the dirt off on his own pants.
Now? He’s much more independent. He runs all over the backyard. He plays fetch with T’akaya. He chases T’akaya and she chases him back. Sometimes one will knock the other down and kisses ensue. There’s fun with sticks. He’ll swing on his Little Tikes swing or go down the slide. And he gets dirty… really, really dirty. Sometimes he comes in so grimy from playing in the sandbox and falling down that he often gets a bath afterwards. A lot of days, he doesn’t even get to leave the landing at the back door before I take his clothes off and spray them down with Tide Release stain treater. I hold his wrists when he goes up the stairs so that I don’t have to touch him and he doesn’t touch my walls. He’s starting to live up to that phrase “Boys are noise with dirt on it.”
While it means that my washing machine gets a workout and we actually have to keep a stash of play clothes for him to wreck, I don’t mind. It’s normal toddler behavior. It also means that my little boy is growing up and exploring the world around him.
Have your children ever made complete turnarounds like that? What was their big change?
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