Mothering Angelo is making me rethink the type of mother I want and need to be for him. I feel he’s constantly challenging me to be better. I have to be sharp to stay ahead of him. He’s a quick learner. He loves one to one attention (not toys) so for the moment, I’m his mom/playmate.
‘Playing’ has never been something I particularly enjoyed as a child. I’m not sure why but I have memories of sitting watching other kids play. I wasn’t friendless; I just couldn’t see the point of it. Admittedly I was a morose. As I grew older, I lightened up a bit and did play a bit but never as much at other kids. Now that I’m a mom, I have a son who’s not into toys or solo-playing. He loves kicking a ball around, wrestling, climbing and such which I must admit is tiring but loads of fun. It’s an excellent way to burn calories and keep fit. Toddlercise!
During play time I can see clever how clever he is. His ability to problem solve is mind-blowing. He’s also very inquisitive. For example, yesterday, I took him to Sutton Arena for soft play. All the kids were either on the bouncy castle or playing with the balls and such. Angelo decides to walk behind the bouncy castle to see what’s happening there, and then he proceeds to try to climb the danger barrier to get at the plugs and pump. WHY??? When I blocked his path he went to the other end of the court lifted the curtain to get to the adults playing badminton, as I’d blocked that path with our pushchair! WHY??? I had to lift him and put him back into the bouncy castle and bump around with him. We had such a laugh.
I’m totally sold on Sutton Arena’s soft play area. He can be himself. He can tumble, bounce, climb and just have fun. We have tried children’s centres and while I will take him from time to time, it’s bit restrictive for him. He’s very much like a bull in a China shop. The other kids go the other way and mothers look concerned for their younger ones. So instead of taking the fast track to being social pariahs, I think The Arena is the place for him as the other kids are his kindred spirits. And I'm finally learning how to ‘play’.