Tuesday, 17 March 2009

A Window Into His Future

At the end of last week we spent a few days in London. We stayed with a friend, and started our trip on Thursday so we could take advantage of the relative quiet that the end of the working week brings.

It is something we have done before, twice before I think.

On all occasions we have followed the same Friday blue-print. Get up, pack a bag, head to the two big museums, the Natural History and Science varieties, taking in lunch at one of them, and then, based on behaviour, head to Hamleys for appropriate treating.

Finally, struggling back to our base trying to avoid the afternoon rush.

On the first two occasions we have spent the day as a duo, due to our friend’s work commitments, and got absolutely knackered, me from carrying him and all our stuff, and him from watching.

It has been interesting to compare the various times we have been, and how my son has taken in, and reacted to the different things around him.

I suppose, on reflection, it is also interesting to observe how my parenting has evolved.

And that starts with the contents of our bag. The original had nappies, changes of clothes, foods and juices of many different varieties, the latest contents did have an emergency change of clothes, but the emergency toilet – an empty plastic bottle - was closer to the top, and justifiably so.

Like a lot of young children Max is pretty keen on dinosaurs, but not too keen on the giant animated Tyrannosaurus Rex that enjoys top billing within the Natural History museum’s dinosaur exhibit.

The first time he cried, and clutched me very tightly.

The second, there were no tears, but he still took to adding to my payload.

This last time, he was in no rush and held my hand for most of it, then only wanting holding so to get a better gander at the business end of this robotic colossus.

He generally took a greater interest in a lot of the exhibits, noticing things we had just rushed passed on previous occasions.

It meant we actually struggled for time, and our visit to the Science museum, was much more targeted than it had been in the past, and there was absolutely no time for the landmark toy store.

Shame, that.

Our targeting at the Science museum included its interactive garden, and the experiment rich Launchpad.

Again in these two zones he was much more alive and aware of his surroundings, I was also more relaxed, as I knew he would be more sensible around the water exhibit and he also plays and shares much more with other children.

All this was very interesting, to me in any case, great points of reference, all split approximately twelve months apart, but the real window to tomorrow came when we were out for a meal.

It was the activity I thought would cause me most concern, Sunday lunch to celebrate another London based friend’s birthday.

Max is usually pretty good these days when we go out to eat, but usually he knows everyone we go out with well.

But on this occasion the dozen or so others were not people he was overly familiar with, or therefore comfortable, or so I thought.

Various props were packed to stave off what I thought was going to be inevitable boredom.

I could not have been more wrong.

My boy was on top form. Moving around the table and engaging with each and everyone there in different measures.

He then courted the attention of the whole table, to play a game of dominos, rules were made up to as he went along, everyone was entertained, and if they had gained enough favour with my son, found themselves on the winning side.

A little assistance was necessary, which he got from others rather than from me, but overall he kept the attention of everyone around him.

Confidence, rather than cockiness, oozing from every pore.

I was in awe of him, and spent what seemed like an age, ignoring everyone else, and just watching him conduct himself.

Totally lost in wonderment.

A proud trance.

Yet, occasionally checking with his new friends that they were OK, although I could see my asking was not actually necessary.

I do not expect every time we go out like this to be so successful. Just like I did not expect this one to be.

Indeed, this was a most unexpected and personally magnificent moment.

One I hope to treasure amongst the many others this incredible boy has given, and continues to give, me, his forever grateful dad. Share/Save/Bookmark


darcie said...

A chip off the old block! It's nice when all of our hard work pays off and we can step back and see for ourselves what others have been seeing all along huh? Great Job Dad!

Not a soccer mom said...

Awesome job.
I am sure it has a lot to do with the fact that you have taken him out so much that he now, not only knows how to behave in public but now- as you stated, has the confidence too.

you should be proud

Laura said...

I love moments like that! When you realise you are doing ok :)

And seriously Max is the cutest thing I can see how he would have everyones attention!

Clairesmom said...

You can take a three year old to the pub???
We can't do that here!

Penelope said...

Good to see you starting him on Guinness nice and early! ;o)
You have every right to be super proud of your little man!

Chairman Bill said...

How do you feel about posting images of your son on the internet?

I had a few of my boys on my blog, but was asked to take them off by the ex. She fears paedophiles around every corner.

Kat said...

He is growing into such a little man. You should be so proud of yourself Ian for doing such a brilliant job as a parent.

swile67 said...

A great photo:)Love how your son is sitting "properly" with hands folded! Very cute...also encapsulates the life of a pub over in the UK. Our pub life is different here in Canada!

Dave said...

It sounds like you have a great bunch of friends, too.

Single Parent Dad said...

Darcie - Much more confident and sociable than me.

Not a soccer mom - I hope so, but I am not counting my chickens.

Laura - Not messing him up is of immense relief.

Clairesmom - You can take a 3 month old to some pubs here!

Penelope - I think so.

Chairman Bill - Inconsistenly if I'm honest Bill. I try not to let my fear cloud a picture's purpose.

Kat - I'm quietly happy to take plaudits, but fear that attitude may bite me in the ass later on.

Swile67 - Thanks. I like that photo too.

T said...

Aw! Sweet boy! You just had him in the perfect place of not-too-hungry and not-too-tired. That's when they're nearly perfect, aren't they?!?

You're a cute proud papa!

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Lovely blog. You get back what you give it seems!

SciFi Dad said...

All my daughter remembers about her first visit to the Science Centre is the failed attempt to see an IMAX movie that ended with her in tears immediately following the "This is IMAX" intro.

We still can't convince her to go back.

Single Parent Dad said...

Dave - They are, but don't tell them.

T - That is the perfect place.

Reasons to be Cheerful - Thank you, and it seems that way.

SciFi Dad - Oh dear. Good luck.

Krystal said...

Kids amaze us more than we can ever imagine.I still look at my kids and marvel and how they have grown and changed. It is those moments that make it all worth while.

rosiescribble said...

It's lovely to see them growing in confidence. Sounds like you are doing a great job, otherwise he would not be so comfortable in the company of others. He must feel very secure with you at home.

Daddydal said...

I love this, it shows that you're giving him the social skills and tools that he needs in life.When my lad does this I can't help but mutter under my breath, "That's my boy!"

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