Today I was reminded of how much time was spent with the oldest child doing activities that required very little accommodation by him: finding empty lots with diggers and playing on them, taking an hour at the wholesale store so we could move at toddler speed, bouncing on the beds in the back, looking at each new toy on the shelf, talking about the different fruits we’d see.
Since my oldest has been in school, there hasn’t been quite the same time spent blissfully finding activities for the youngest to do, but we do find things that end up being particularly special with our newfound 1:1 mama time.
Today, we found diggers.
I heard heartfelt, “Ohhhhh!” and lots of “Mmmmmm!!!”
There was a BIG digger, “Ohhhhh!”
Pondering what the fascination is with these noisy, cabled machines, I remembered a walk with some friends whose daughters had never seen diggers up close and in action before, nor had the one young son. We stumbled upon a front-end loader getting some scoops out of the pile of dirt we were going to play on (with permission), and I had to instantly go into calm-down-distraction-mode because the girls were in near hysterics as the the giant machine approached. Meanwhile, the young son, maybe a year old, watched with eyes WIDE eating it all up as though he’d seen a mythical beast descend from the sky and his purpose in his small life had just been revealed.
I even got an “Oooooh!” of discovery upon unearthing a half-used can of Rustoleum on the floor of the digger. Oooooh indeed.
In all my years before motherhood, I never experienced elevated levels of excitement upon the discovery of an unoccupied and mostly safe construction site, or found myself pointing and squealing over some ancient and clearly refinished vehicle. A sheltered and clean mud puddle was devoid of emotional excitement. But now I have boys. My mud-puddle radar has been honed.
So I reveled in a muddy boy this afternoon at the playground construction site…
No, faces and fingers don’t manage to stay very clean around here in the toddler years. But we sure do have fun digging.