Oliver is finally over his cold. After being mostly cooped up in the house for a week and a half, I decided we needed to get out and about. I took him to the mall so he could run and climb in the play area. When we arrived, I opted not to use the stroller. Instead, I told Oliver, "We're at the mall. I'm going to carry you through the parking lot to the mall, and then you're going to walk. You're going to walk in the mall with me. OK? You're going to walk, and we're not going to cry."
I carried Oliver through the parking lot to the mall's entrance. I put him down, and he started to walk with me... to the Panera bathrooms. Not this again! I decided to have another talk with Oliver and I asked him, "Do you need to use the potty?" He said yes. I said, "OK, we're going to go use the potty, but we're only going to use it one time, OK?" So, we went and used the bathroom. On the way out, Oliver froze when he saw all the large groups of people sitting around. He asked me to pick him up. I told him that I'd carry him to the mall, but then he was going to walk all by himself. I walked him through Panera to the empty mall. I set Oliver down, and he happily walked with me! I was ecstatic.
We walked all the way to the play area. I took off our shoes, and he started climbing and playing. After about five minutes, he walked back to his shoes and asked me to put them on by saying, "Shoes?" I told him the shoes were for when we go home. Oliver ran and climbed through one tunnel and then went back to his shoes. Then he waved and said, "Bye." I asked him if he wanted to go home, and he said yes. Then he gave me my shoes, too. What the heck? A ten minute drive for five minutes of play? I wasn't going to force him. I put our shoes on, and Oliver waved to the playground as we left. On the way out, he tripped and stumbled. A lady was walking the mall and saw and kind of laughed (not in a mean way). Oliver was so embarrassed. He buried his head into my legs and said, "Up!" I picked him up but didn't walk. I held him for a bit until the lady passed.
I put him down, and he happily walked with me all the way back to Panera. When we were there, he wanted to go back to the bathroom. I reminded him that we were all done there. I asked him if he'd like a split a scone with me, and he said yes. There was no one waiting in line behind us, so I let him give the lady the credit card. We ate our scone together, and when we were done, he walked with me to the mall doors. He wanted to be carried once we got outside, so I did. I carried him halfway to the car, and then I gave him the car keys and set him down. We walked the rest of the way to the car together.
I was so, so proud of Oliver and kept telling him so. I told him what a good boy he was walking all by himself, and I told him he helped Mommy so much. It really does make me feel good, and a little less nervous for when our little one arrives. Oliver is the sweetest little boy, but it can just be physically challenging to take him anywhere since he likes to be held and carried so much. Also, I feel like a much better mom now that I'm setting boundaries in public and sticking to them. I have to admit, though, that I'm nervous for the future and all the future tantrums that he's sure to have as we continue to move into the Terrible Twos.