Later that evening, as I kept Pen company in the bathroom, she turned to me and said, “You and daddy are such frustrating babies!”
For that back-to-school scourge, hand, foot and mouth disease, has broken out in the midcoast, and that includes North Haven. My three-year-old hasn’t escaped.
Dining out with a toddler can be hard. Let me rephrase that: dining out with a toddler is like dining with an alarm clock, set to an unknown hour, with a centrifuge that activates to fling food in a maximal radius when it goes off.
All right, kid. If you’re chill on stage with us, there’s a little bag of gummy bears in it for you.”
That’s right. Extrinsic motivation for the win, again.
Pen’s friends excitedly lined up at the edge of the pool. When the instructors beckoned them towards the water, Penrose turned from child to koala, clinging fiercely to my leg and whimpering. Five kids gradually entered the pool to practice bobbing and kicking. One child eventually sat with her toes in the water, poking the surface and muttering to herself.
One minute you’re on the list to go backstage at the Imperial Theater, the next you’re muttering in frustration at a sobbing almost-three-year-old as her boots fall off and her package of oyster crackers is lost to the seagulls.
Getting kids outdoors for unstructured play has quantifiable benefits as far as attention and resilience, but it seems to be frought with controversy.
When Penrose started running laps around the house Sunday morning yelling “I WANT FRY! I WANT FRY!” (your guess is as good as mine as to what that even means), we figured we’d better get her outside while the warm weather lasted.
This is my twelfth Knowledge Fair at North Haven Community School, and one of the best, in my opinion.
While it would have been easier to leave Pen with a babysitter (heads up, North Haven teens – you would make a killing setting up some sort of play time during town meeting), I wanted her to see the nitty gritty work that makes a town function.