This past weekend, Diesel, Dodge, Choo-choo, and I went up to a vintage truck show held at a car museum. We had stacks and stacks of books to keep Choo-choo occupied for the hours-long drive there and back. We also had several toys. He had plenty to keep him busy, including his best friend Dodge.
“Hey Dodge! Hey Dodge!” he happily shouted to get our friend’s attention. Diesel jokes that Choo-choo stole his girl (me) then stole his best friend (Dodge). But our son was so excited to have Dodge travel with us that we were all in a very good mood, even though we’d all woken up very early only to not leave early due to more truck complications.
Once at the show, we ate a quick lunch from some of the food vendors then walked around. Choo-choo was in awe of the military trucks, the fire trucks, the anything and everything trucks. He asked Diesel to take him out of his stroller in order to have a better view, then refused to go back in. This was a bit of a problem, though. Last trip, to the train museum, we had forgotten the stroller, which meant Diesel had to carry Choo-choo all day when he didn’t want to walk.
This happened again, of course. We encouraged him to walk as much as possible, holding hands with one or two of us so as not to get lost. While he did not end up lost, he definitely ended up bored. You see, Diesel and Dodge wanted to read the plaques for the cars to learn about their history. Choo-choo just wanted to look at the old toys and run around.
Instead of getting annoyed with him for not sitting still, I offered to hold his hand and walk with him around the building without stopping to read everything. This way, we both could see all the cool cars and not have to take forever doing so.
When we sat down for a water break outside, Diesel came up with another great idea. He took Choo-choo into a grassy area and ran around with him, playing “catch” with Choo-choo’s red foam ball. All this really meant was Choo-choo would throw the ball, run after it, then throw it again.
Reading this, you might think, “What’s the big deal?” Well, the big deal is that usually either Diesel or I, or even both of us, would be very frustrated at Choo-choo for not sitting still, for whining, for pulling at our arms while we were trying to look around, and so on. Both of us actually came up with ways of letting Choo-choo release some energy in a healthy way. It was really nice to see him happy instead of having a meltdown.
By the second to last building, Choo-choo decided on his own that he didn’t want to walk anymore and actually asked to go back in his stroller. “There’s too many cars,” he told me. “I want back in.”
He essentially admitted that he was tired and needed a break. I love that he allowed himself to admit this. And I know if it hadn’t been for Diesel and me letting him run around and be a kid basically, he would have been full-on screaming at this point. Just one of those lessons in parenting that we might have been told but didn’t really understand until experiencing it and having the light bulb over our heads moment.