Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Good Night

Sometimes Jacob's behavior is so frustrating. He can be the most awesome kid at times, and then just repeatedly drive you crazy with ridiculous behavior apparently meant to invoke a reaction.  He doesn't listen, he talks about inappropriate things (potty talk, mostly), and whines and complains about the most inane stuff.  Why he wants a reaction like that (meaning, yelling, punishments, etc.), I have no idea.  I'd much rather give him hugs and do the fun things we can do when he's being a good boy. 

Last night Craig had to go to a dinner and, you know, meet Eli Manning and stuff...which was cool for him.  Jacob and I had a decidedly less exciting meal and found ourselves with a beautiful evening and some time to kill before bedtime, so I suggested taking a wagon ride.  The ride turned into a trip to the playground around the corner, and we really did have a lovely evening.  It was so nice to have a night without battles. 

Of course, before we got to that point, Jacob was running around the house trying to find his Batman costume, which he was insisting he wear for his ride.  When he couldn't find it, he got all weepy and whiny, but I told him that it was his responsibility to take care of it, and if he really wanted to wear it (since I already told him he shouldn't) that he needed to find it.  Eventually he went up to his room and emerged in his Captain America shirt, then retrieved his mask and shield from the toy shelf.  He looked like one of those kids you smile and roll your eyes at in the store when they're dressed like something else (a fairy, a princess, a ninja, etc.), but I figured it wasn't a battle worth fighting.  If nothing else he'd give the neighbors a laugh.  I don't know about you, but this picture does it for me:

We didn't initially plan on going to the playground, but once we got going it seemed wise to have a destination rather than just walking up and down the street.  So, off to the playground it was!  He was a little hesitant to play on the same structure as another group of kids, but he had fun going down the slide and climbing up the fake mountain.  It amazes me when I see him do stuff like that how easy it is for him now.  I used to have to shadow him constantly, and he was afraid of slides for so long.  Now he's an old pro.  I credit daycare and lots of time on their playground for that!

After a while he decided he wanted to explore other parts of the playground and immediately started climbing this thing:

Admittedly, I got a little nervous because Jacob, despite being athletic, is clumsy as heck.  But he did what he could and climbed back down once he got near the top and wasn't sure what to do with himself.  In the meantime, I debated between snapping a picture and being there to catch him if he fell.  I had brief visions of a long summer with him in a cast from some sort of awkward fall.  But he seemed steady enough and I managed to snap this shot, which I love.

Later on he insisted on putting on his Captain America stuff again, presumably because he wanted to "go fast" down the slide and feel like a superhero. 

My personal favorite was when he got to the bottom of the slide and had been electrified by the static...

At one point he was stumped as to how to get up to a platform.  There were monkey bars heading there (no way...not yet), or a little climbing structure that was, in essence, a ladder, but looked far more intimidating.  After a few tries of letting him attempt it himself, he gave up.  At that point I pulled him back to it, showed him where to put his hands and feet, helped him get one foot where it needed to be, and let him do the rest.  He was pretty proud of himself once he got up, and I'll be interested to see how he does next time.  Up on the platform he was excited to find pictures of the sign language finger-spelling alphabet.  He learns it at daycare, and started trying to sing the alphabet and do the signs at the same time.  He was so happy doing it, and I happened to take this picture...
You can't really make out the signs, but I like how it almost looks like he's holding the setting sun.
I tried to take advantage of the fantastic sunset lighting to get a cute picture of him just sitting there waiting to be lifted back down to the ground, and this was as good as it got before I was afraid he'd scooch himself right off the platform...

On our way back home, I stopped to take a picture of these adorable little flowers.  I tried to get an even closer shot of one, but I couldn't hold the camera still enough to get a good shot based on the light left outside.  However, I really like this one still.  Hello, my name is Amy, and I'm a macro setting addict.  Sigh.  But flowers are just so pretty...

Anyway, it was just a nice night.  There was minimal yelling, minimal disobedience, minimal frustration all around.  It's amazing how much fun we can have when Jacob decides to be a nice boy.  He's been asking to go back to the playground ever since, and I just wish he'd understand that we'd do a lot more of that stuff if he behaved himself more often.  It sort of kills the fun when he always needs to change his clothes or grab sports equipment or have things be a certain way before he cooperates.  Sometimes he just has to roll with it.  He gets something in his head, won't listen to reason, and then misses out on fun.  Tonight he missed out on an opportunity to drink out of the Champion's Cup with a few other kids--chocolate milk, via straws--and despite asking repeatedly about drinking out of the cup, he suddenly refused.  I'm not sure why, but all I can say is that hopefully he'll get another chance!  If not, he let his hard-headedness get in his way yet again.

In the meantime, I'll think about last night as a fun time of mother-son bonding and proof that he can be the coolest kid ever.

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