As you can see from yesterday’s video, Owen is happiest when he’s busy busy busy. Busy pushing, busy sweeping, busy carrying things from one place to another, busy putting tops on water bottles or fitting shapes in his shape sorter. Each of those tasks may not last very long, but he is certainly focused when he’s “working”.
Lately that work has meant only one thing.
I’m telling you, he’s absolutely obsessed. When we’re inside, he smacks his little hands against the glass of our back door and does his patented Owen noise that shifts his pitch upward at the end like a question. It’s not a word, but the meaning is VERY clear.
Asking if he can PLEADING to go outside. Even if we’ve just come in from outside, he walks in one door and heads right for another and asks to go out that way. We go to one of two nearby playgrounds, we take a walk with the dog, we play in the garage (close enough to being outside!), we explore our backyard, we walk the sidewalk right in front of our house. Doesn’t matter the weather. Doesn’t matter what we do. He just has to be outside.
Now, as with his obsession with cleaning products, this is not such a bad problem to have. A kid who just wants to wander around outside and learn and explore and play? Awesome, right? When we’re outside I don’t have to do a darn thing to entertain him except keep him out of traffic (which is a LOT harder than you would imagine, since Owen LOVES to run away, giggling all the while). He is fascinated by grass and wood chips and touching everything and… of course… tasting things here and there.
Yesterday we were playing on our deck stairs and he found a tiny spider crawling on the step. He pointed at it and followed it with his finger for a good 5 minutes while it crawled around. When it disappeared under the step, Owen fearlessly stuck his chubby little hand right in its web trying to get it back. He is SUCH a little BOY.
I’m doing my best to say “yes” as much as possible, instead of going with my knee jerk response, which is often “No, buddy. Let’s play inside so we can _____ (fill in the blank with: do the dishes, fold the laundry, prep dinner, clean up the playroom, not get cold and dirty, etc.)”. Not to mention the fact that he has just learned the sign language for “please” and I’m really trying to reinforce it by doing whatever he says “please” about. 9 times out of 10 he sits at our garage door rubbing his hands all over his chest (the sign for “please”). No words are necessary for me to know exactly what he wants! So we’ve been outside A LOT.
This past weekend it was in the 70’s and sunny, so being outside was far from a chore. But as the New England winter approaches, I’m thinking this obsession may be a little harder to oblige. Really warm snow gear for the whole family is definitely a must. I have a feeling cold fingers are not going to deter this little outdoorsman.
What do you do with your kids outside? Do your kids insist on being outside even in the cold?