Monday, June 8, 2009

Adventures with Quinn

“Doing all the little tricky things it takes to grow up, step by step, into an anxious and unsettling world.” -- Sylvia Plath

It was a big weekend at our place.

For months now, we have been preparing Quinn for the eventual disappearance of his bottles ("babas") and soothers ("tookies"). He's over three now, and I know he's way old for both in some circles. In our defence however, the bottle at night and sometimes one in the morning were tools that helped combat the absentee mother. Let's face it, 12 hour shiftwork does not make for consistant parenting. He's up early in the morning, stuffed with breakfast, quickly dressed and in the car before he has a chance to really wake up most days. It's not easy for me, let alone a pre-schooler. The tookies had been relegated solely to nap and bedtimes and only at home, not at daycare. He can drink from a cup and sleep without a soother... it was time for them to go.

The "Soother Fairy" was a stroke of genius from the BFF. Her daughter Erin (of kitty cat pancake fame) had difficulty letting go of her soothers as well, until one day, the Soother Fairy came and took them away. I can't remember if she left presents or if she gave the soothers to less fortunate children or what... I just remember it made it easier than having her beloved pacifiers just disappearing one day or some of the awful things I've heard over the years. Things like; "You're too big for that", "Only babies need those. Are you a sucky baby?" to me are just mean, but then again, so is "the dog ate them" (I heard that from a mother in a store one day) or the direct "I threw them in the garbage". The Soother Fairy would have to put our family on her list.

We started small with Quinn. We explained that the "Tookie" Fairy took the soothers and the bottles away. This rattled around in his head a bit unil he would say, at random, often to complete strangers "The Tookie Fairy takes away the bottles and the tookies, for babies!" (we added a little bit of social consciousness in there, as the Tookie Fairy does like to help the less fourtunate). She evolved in his mind as time went on. I personally don't know what she looks like, but "She's a real girl Mom! A nice girl. And beau-ti-ful!" After a few months, it was time for her to put in an appearance.

But what could she leave in their stead? Daddy-o and I have been checking out wagons for over two years now, pricing this one above that, checking out durability, weight ratings, customer reviews... it's insane, really. I think we spent less time checking out our car. I found one recently that would suit our needs. Unfortunatly, it's a little costly and I would still have to custom order the canopy for it (remember: my son and husband need an SPF rating of "asbestos" to go out in the sun). Luckily, my frequent searches of Kijiji would pay off; there was a lady not too far from us that was selling a "gently used" one for half the price. Sold!

Daddy-o got an email on Friday: the Tookie Fairy was going to be in town over the weekend. Saturday, we got another email, letting us know that she would be visiting us that night. Quinn wasn't all that happy about it, but he had his last "bedtime baba" and helped Mommy put out all the bottles and baby-ish sippy cups and his beloved tookie on the counter. It was a restless night, punctuated with a lot of sadness from my son, but it had to be done.

Sunday morning, Quinn awoke early and we went downstairs together. The bottles were gone! In the living room however, was a wonderful red wagon. He was very pleased... so much so in fact, that he would not stop playing with it and even ate his breakfast in one of the comfy red seats. Before we headed outdoors for our "adventure", he had already been "camping" with Bear, been to the moon twice, and had a Wonder Pets adventure where they saved some poor creature from imminent doom.

I Has a Wagon!
I has a wagon!

Our first adventure of the day was a walk around our neighbourhood. Since we moved in at the end of November, we haven't been out walking around much, I must confess. It was fun trundling along, checking out all the pretty flowers in the neighbourhood and ending up at the park.

Because That's How I Roll...
Because that's how I roll...

It turned out to be a surprisingly nice day. Surprising only as The Weather Network was evidently on crack again as it had advised rain for five days straight. The sun came out as we reached the park and we had fun climbing and trying out some of the "bigger kid" stuff.

Lonely Boy
Lonely boy on the swings... Awww!

When we got home, it quickly became apparent that napping was out of the question. Tookie withdrawl, I would imagine. After several failed attempts, we went outside to play. There he discovered another new addition to the yard, a sandbox courtesy of Skye and Erik. It's a double sided thing, one for water and one for sand and that's how it started out. It ended completely different tho' and Quinn spent a glorious hour and a half making mudpies, islands and himself a delightful mess.

He got a whole lot muddier before he was through, trust me!

Quinn was soaked and sandy from his head to his toes by the time he was done. One change of clothes, a cup of milk and an episode of Thomas later, he was an unconscious heap on the couch.

All in all, it was a weekend of discovery. I know there have been many like this before and we have many more to come... this weekend just seemed special. I guess it is one more step towards child instead of baby. It is also a little more freedom for he and I; since we have moved away from using the stroller, it will be easier to use the wagon for our "store adventures". I also discovered something about myself... it wasn't just him clinging on to his tookies and babas. My little baby is very much a little boy and he's growing up way too fast. He will be doing so many more amazing things before we know it.

Maybe our next adventure will be potty training. One can only hope.

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