The scorching sun is taking a short, but welcome, break this week. The forecast calls for a few more days of cool, light rain. I am not a great fan of dreary, grey days - but am currently making an exception. Currently I am sitting in my living room with the blinds open, wearing jeans *and* socks, and I am completely comfortable. No need for ice packs in my arm pits today (my new get cool quick trick).
Last Saturday we braved the heat with a few thousand other people and caught a few great acts at folk fest. It was our first festival with a toddler in tow and we were a bundle of nerves. Things that went really well: packing a good lunch for each of us (in our cool new bento-boxes), bringing money (for coffee, milk, a program, a poster, ice water, BBQ'd corn on the cob and a great bridal shower gift), bringing our water bottles and the backpack carrier instead of a stroller, planning ahead, and packing light. Things to think about for next time: forgetting to put sunscreen on the adults, not hitting the kid's area sooner, not bringing any activities for Sebastian to do while we watched the musicians. The one thing we were especially eager to see was Utah Phillips and it was definitely the highlight of the day, great stories, great music, all very inspiring. We also really enjoyed the music of Rae Spoon (solo and as part of The Trucker's Memorial), The Fugitives, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, and Fraser Union.
squint and you can just make out Utah Phillips centre stage - to the right is Trucker's Memorial and to the left is Fraser Union:
Sebastian was excited about these trolls until they played their drum - odd, since the kid loves all things drum:
(check my flickr for more pictures)
There were a few tense moments between Andrew and I, mostly stemming from our differing opinions on how much to control a two-year old at a concert. I am pretty laid back, I admit, and I might piss some people off - but generally, Sebastian is friendly and sweet and people enjoy seeing him have a little fun. Andrew is more inclined to control him and he gets anxious when Sebastian interacts with strangers. I totally see his side of it - I remember a horrible party last Christmas where there were a bunch of boring speeches being made (we had to stay because it was in honor of my dad) and Sebastian was running up to the front of the room and being silly, not loud, not in the way, just silly and distracting.
I was pissed at Andrew for not being there to "help me control this kid" and at myself for not bringing some kind of restraint system, I kept going to the front and trying to lure him away from the spotlight with promises of cookies and hugs - only to be faced with the option of holding a squirming, whining child or letting him down to start it all over again. This very kind woman brought me to tears by saying, simply "let him run, it is what kids do, look at how much everyone else is enjoying him" and I did look, and they were, and I left him and no one thought I was a bad mother because of it. After the speeches the Mayor came over and gave Sebastian a pin and a hug - many other people came by to tell me how sweet and cute he was. And it hit me - he is sweet and cute and most people don't hate kids as much as I assume they do.
I try not to micromanage him anymore in situations like those - I stay close, ready to intervene if the adult (or other child) seems put off, but generally let Sebastian explore and meet people and be the cute,social, friendly kid he is. I have plenty of time to make him as socially awkward as I am - no need to start now. I am also finding that relaxing and not trying to anticipate every bump actually helps me handle things when they do go a little sour - I am present and focused instead, plus my way I get to have fun!!
Disclaimer: my way does not always work - today my laissez-faire attitude left me watching helplessly from across the room as my son smacked, then pushed a little girl. Thankfully this is not normal behaviour, but as always it was unsettling and for a few moments I wondered if I should have been watching more closely (he then threw a toy at a child while I was sitting *right there* to let me know that, no, my proximity would not have any bearing on his behaviour - always so thoughtful, he is).