Young Master Bertram and Parental Unit #1 headed out for "second breakfast" at a local diner.
Wait, what is second breakfast you ask?
Since Bert gets up so freakin' early--we have a light breakfast at say 6:30am. So before young Master B's big afternoon nap at 12:30ish, we have a second, more filling breakfast at 10:30a.
I was more than ready to dig into my usual order of bacon extra crispy, whole wheat toast, eggs over easy, a thimble glass of OJ, and a superlight coffee, so when we arrived to find that the one highchair the diner had was in use, I thought Calamitas!
Bertram was already squirming against his stroller harness and commanding "Out! Out!" Out indeed, but where? (At this point, my belly is too big for him to sit on my lap for a long stretch of time.) So I plunked him next to me in a regular seat. No booster, no straps, just a regular, plain old seat made for grown-up heiners.
I just wish I had a camera to capture the grin on his face--pure toddler delight. The novelty of not being in a highchair proved to be the greatest distraction. I had come prepared with a few books, paper and markers, but we didn't need them as he did not ask to be let "Out!" He also refused his bib and insisted on using a regular fork. He didn't reach for the no-touch items on the table like the bowl of sugar packets, ketchup, salt and pepper shakers. I had time to eat my meal versus my usual momtasking type of eating--give Bert a piece of food, take a forkful of food from my own plate, entertain, wipe Bert's face, attempt another bite, but stop to save his sippy cup from being thrown on the floor.
Bertram and I had a truly pleasant mid-morning. This experience made me question all the babyhood items and helpers we have that are still very much a part of our day-to-day living. The kid is only 19 months, but do we need to continue using, just to name a few things, sippy cups, toddler forks and spoons, bottles for milk, a highchair, a crib, an inflatable bath tub? Are we using these things out of parental convenience or Bert's safety (particularly the crib)?
I've already seen the improved behavior exhibited when I let young Master B walk somewhere at his own, slooooow, toddler pace as opposed to using the stroller. This morning's experience will get me thinking about other ways we can let Bertram sample being more "grown up." At the same time, this is the same kid who likes to take his nap with a good, warm bottle of milk, and who cries for a"huggie!" when he is upset. As with anything, parenting is in how you keep the balance.