Big deal right?! It is in my world.
It’s the first “proper” challenge I’ve faced alone with Arjun since being pregnant. I woke up this morning wondering whether I should take him out given he’d been cooped up inside all day yesterday. I came up with so many reasons to not go …
He always wants to be carried since finding out we’re pregnant
He’s now off nappies, what if he had an accident?
What if he runs off? I don’t have his reigns with me and even if I did he hates them on.
What if he had a tantrum?
What if he didn’t sit still through lunch?
To name a few! I really didn’t expect myself to take him – I always come up with these great ideas and they very rarely materialise. I was especially put off as a few days ago a friend and I popped in to Matalan and he refused to play ball. He wasn’t necessarily “naughty” in the tantruming sense (not at the beginning anyway), instead he was running away from us and I found it all a bit stressful. I couldn’t imagine doing that alone with him. I must have forgotten about that Matalan incident and had a moment of madness when I decided to get ready to go.
I was invited to give my opinion on “fussy eating” on the BBC Asian Network radio this morning. As soon as I was done, I started getting dressed without thinking quickly before I could talk myself out of it. I packed his bag armed with two spare pairs of bottoms, a few pairs of pants and his collapsable toilet seat. I really really have a deep desire to do these things with Arjun but my lack of confidence and fear always wins. I really don’t want my children to miss out because of my own issues and I’m so conscious time is flying and one day I’ll regret not making as many memories as possible. Plus while I’m at my parents, it’s the perfect opportunity to test the waters as I have that extra support when I got back.
I told Arjun we were going to see animals and he excitedly began (trying) to dress himself whilst singing baa baa black sheep at the top of his lungs! He was super excited and it made my heart feel whole.
As we were driving, he fell asleep. I panicked. I even thought about turning back. The local farm is only a 15 minute drive from my parents. What if he had a tantrum when I woke him up as his sleep wouldn’t be complete?
I managed to convince myself to carry on and I’d deal with it when we got there if that situation arose. When we arrived, Arjun woke up himself and excitedly squealed. I got him or the car but he decided he wanted to take his tool box with him which was packed with paint (don’t ask!). He had a huge meltdown when I said he could as I knew I’d end up carrying it around. It wasn’t the greatest start and I felt apprehensive straight away. I decided to pick him up before he threw himself on the ground. I always get told not to lift him but what am I supposed to do in those situations?!
Once we got to the front desk, he was perky and happy again armed with a carton of SMA and Peppa Pig breadsticks. I got him some animal feed which he was equally excited for – despite struggling to hold everything, he refused to let me help him.
We had such a nice time walking around – he liked the goats, pigs and chickens but was pretty scared of the cows and sheep as they were pretty noisy. As soon as entered the farm he was obsessed with finding the rabbits. I love that he has preferences and his own likes and dislikes now and that he can express them. We had the added bonus of Heathrow airport being down the road and so being able to plane spot at the same time! He also got to have fun on the bouncy castles.
We were there for about 40 minutes once we’d been around and I was contemplating leaving when a lovely staff member who’d seen us earlier informed us that they were doing an interactive animal session. She mentioned rabbits AND snakes. I’m terrified of snakes but I know Arjun loves both of those animals and I didn’t want to deprive him of it.
I am so grateful to that kind lady for stopping us as it was one of the most joyful experiences with Arjun. He sat with my arm wrapped around him clutching at my hand as he listened with intent to them telling us about the animals. He loved stroking the snake, guinea pig, rat (!!!!) millipede and especially the bunny rabbit. He wasn’t so keen on the water dragon and frog though he did have a “ribbet ribbet” conversation with the frog lol. He was a little apprehensive about touching the snake at first which meant I had to put on my big girl panties and my brave face and show him I wasn’t scared to touch, he then followed. That little snippet made me realise how much his confidence will rely on mine. How he probably watches my every move and a lot of how I feel will be brushing off on to me. It saddens me as I feel he is being punished for my journey.
That aside, we had a really lovely afternoon. He was too tired for lunch so I picked up a take away on the way home and just enjoyed my lunch as he’s in deep sleep!
I feel so proud of myself, and so proud of him. It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t difficult either. I can’t imagine ever doing it with two kids but maybe I’ll surprise myself one day.
Oh and we didn’t end up using the spare change of clothes or pants but we did use his toilet seat 🙂