GROUNDING

We recently arrived home from a week-long trip to Toronto, where we went to visit my family and attend a big family reunion. Travelling with Oliver has gotten a lot easier lately. He no longer requires a mountain of baby gear, he’s cooperative, he can be reasoned with (yes, for real!), and he can keep himself busy for short periods of time without getting into things that he shouldn’t touch.

We had a fantastic week, and Oliver handled all the family visits, excessive stimulation and changes to his routine with aplomb. We kept him on Vancouver time, so he was able to attend evening gatherings, and then sleep until 10:00 or later each morning!

That said, by the end of our trip, it was quite obvious that Oliver needed to get back to his familiar, structured and calm home life. He had a hilarious meltdown in the car on the way back from the airport, when we got stuck in a horrible mess of inescapable traffic only a few blocks from home. Usually, if Oliver is tired of sitting in the car, he’ll start to whine, “All done in the car,” or ask to use the potty. Instead, he started crying — absolutely wailing — insisting that he wanted to feed the ducks and geese right now! In an attempt to placate him, I promised that we could go feed the ducks in the morning.

After a good night’s sleep in his own bed, Oliver awoke in a cheerful mood. It was all downhill from there.

He was whiny during breakfast, and positively unbearable while I cleaned up the dishes. I knew that the excitement of the week had finally caught up with him. I quickly cancelled our plans to attend our weekly neighbourhood “mommy lunch.” A gathering of three dozen moms and babies was the last thing Oliver needed. Instead, he needed a quiet, grounding morning with Mom.

I asked him what he wanted to do, and his first request was — no surprise — “Feed the ducks and geese.” I should have figured he wouldn’t forget.

I grabbed a bag of duck food (did you know that ducks and geese should not eat bread?), our basket of beach toys, towels, sunscreen, hats, and Oliver’s toilet seat (never leave home without it! :)), and we headed to Lost Lagoon to start our adventure.

First we fed the ducks, geese and swans. There was even one (very late) new baby goose!

First we fed the ducks, geese and swans. There was even one (very late in the season) new baby goose!

Next, we went to the Ceperley Playground in Stanley Park. Oliver enjoyed climbing all over the vintage fire truck.

Then we wandered over to Ceperley Playground in Stanley Park, where Oliver enjoyed climbing all over the vintage fire truck…

...and the big kids' playground.

…and the big kids’ playground equipment.

I love this funny face!

Making funny faces at the top of the slide.

Next, we headed to Second Beach. It was warm and sunny, and the tide was out.

Next, we headed to Second Beach to play in the sand and water. It was warm and sunny, and the tide was out.

We left cute Mommy and Ollie footprints in the sand.

We left cute Mommy and Ollie footprints in the sand…

And went for a swim in the warm water. Of course I forgot Oliver's bathing suit, but underwear will suffice in a pinch.

…and went for a little dip in the warm water. Somehow I forgot Oliver’s bathing suit, but underwear will suffice in a pinch. This is the first time Oliver has truly enjoyed being in the ocean. He screamed delightedly every time the waves hit him, and he didn’t want to get out, despite being covered in goosebumps!

After swimming, we cuddled and dried off...

After swimming, we cuddled and dried off…

...then finished up our perfect Vancouver morning with salmon lunch at The Fish House.

…then finished up our perfect Vancouver morning with grilled salmon and veggies at the Fish House restaurant.

After lunch, we strolled home, where Oliver had a three-hour nap (score!) and I might have had a little nap too ;). He woke up in a great mood, and I had my happy, grounded toddler back.

2 responses to “GROUNDING

  1. I’m so impressed with Oliver! Look at him go at the playground and the beach! And he can handle cutlery already! Attaboy! He started with BLW didn’t he? When did he start learning to handle cutlery? I just started my 6 mth old on solids 2 weeks ago, also BLW. It’s more playing and tasting for her now; I worry abit if she’s getting enough esp when others not attuned to BLW question about it too, but I do appreciate the benefits of BLW and will keep on at it!

    • He did start with BLW. It was *very* slow at first. He was mostly tasting/playing, and not actually eating much until around nine months old. But the payoff has been huge in terms of what a good (and tidy!) eater he is now. I can’t remember when we started giving Oliver cutlery — maybe around a year old? — but he didn’t start to get proficient with it until about 18 months. He uses a fork pretty well now, but still struggles with eating thin liquids (e.g. soup) with a spoon, and will usually choose to just drink from the bowl 🙂 Before he could spear his own food, we would load the fork for him and then he would put it in his mouth.

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