She Says… Obsession

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.

Being outside.

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?


8 responses to “She Says… Obsession

  1. My son loves being outside too! Even when it’s chilly. So I bundle him up and set him free out there. My kitchen window faces the back yard so I wash dishes or whatever and that lets me keep an eye on him. He fully occupies himself when I’m not there!

    I do love going out and playing with him though or working in my garden while he plays.

  2. Elizabeth McCracken

    Go outside, just bundle everyone up nice and snug! As long as it’s not dangerously cold, he’ll be fine. Fresh air is awesome for everyone. 🙂 Owen will probably want to go back in once he gets cold enough. He’s a smart little guy.

    And my daughter likes playing in dirt and gravel and spiders too. (She calls all insects “bees”.) The best thing we bought was a plastic slide for her. It took her a bit to warm up to it, but she has had a blast on it since. We put it on the covered porch, so even if it’s rainy we can still play outside.

  3. The more I read about Owen, the more I think that you and I gave birth to the same child, just several months (and states) apart. I could have written this entire post! (except for the cold weather part–not quite as much of an issue in Atlanta!)

  4. i have ABSOLUTE TOTAL DREAD / FEAR of the winter because of how obsessed my child is with being outside. i know i know you can “bundle them up” blah blah. i mean yeah, i shoveled the snow last year with the kid in a backpack. but honestly, we’ve been outside probably about 9 hours a day or more lately, and no matter how bundled the kid is, when the windchill is -10, you cant be outside for 9 hours. his obsession is so bad, he pretty much cries hysterically through every meal because he is pointing at the door. we havent gotten desprite enough to let him eat outside; gotta set some limits. LOL. *rolling eyes* good luck. you are not alone.

  5. We have some good friends whose little boy is the same way. In fact, I’m pretty sure his first word was outside.

  6. Faith really enjoys playing in the driveway. We have a Fisher Price Cozy Coupe and she goes nuts driving around. Plus, you can pull over and try to pull out every blade of grass that you can find. Fun!

    When I got Peanut, I spent every day of the winter standing outside watching her play at the park. I didn’t imagine having a kid would be any different. 🙂

  7. My little girl is such a tomboy! She, like Owen, LOVES to be outside. She just started walking yesterday and wanted to walk in the grass all afternoon! She loves dirt and rocks, playing with our dogs, even when she gets plastered with slobber, loves grass and bugs and all things outside. Yesterday she stood banging on our french doors, doing the same thing… pleading to go outside! I love outside too, so I am glad for her obsession and glad that I don’t have a girly-girl who hates to get dirty. But, I hate the cold. So, I don’t know if she will be detered by the cold, but I have a feeling I will! I guess its time for me to stock up on some warm clothes as well, lol. Enjoy your warmer weather while it lasts! I will just be looking forward to our Christmas trip to FL to see family, where we can play outside all we want! 🙂

  8. My daughter loves the outside too. Right now she is LOVING collecting leaves and putting them in things and taking them out of them.
    I hate rainy days and I am dreading the winter too. Oh it would be so nice to have nice weather everyday!

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