Learning to Slow Down

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This past weekend, the weather was nice for a change so Rosebud and I spent lots of time outside. When we go for walks, Rosebud usually likes to go in the stroller, but I asked if she wanted to walk without it and she did. We walked down our street and found a side path that takes us to our mailboxes. that path is sort of in the woods, but it connects our street with another street in the neighborhood. It is also connected to a small playground nearby. There is only a large climber with a slide there, but if you get bored in your own backyard, there is another option. Anyway, it can be slow walking with a toddler. She likes to stop at each yard and point something out or pick up random stuff on the side of the road.

Mother and daughter walking outside.This started to get old and I found myself getting frustrated at stopping every two seconds, but then I thought this is her walk and normally I’d encourage exploring and looking at the details so I started asking her about everything we were seeing and hearing. She saw leaves blowing in the wind, different decorations in people’s yards, big trees, dogs, cars driving by and kids playing. We heard wind chimes, airplanes, dogs barking, a baby crying, animals moving around in the trees and birds singing. She stopped to pick up rocks, acorns, pinecones, leaves and sticks. She wanted to put everything in her pockets. A couple of times, she even stopped to pick up trash. I’m all for picking up the trash and can’t stand it when people litter, I don’t want her doing it because of her tendency to put everything in her mouth. You never know where that comes from and what kind of germs it could be carrying. I’m always worrying about what she’s putting in her mouth and that’s one of the reasons I’m not a huge fan of outdoor time.

Little girl picking up flower.I love being outdoors. I love nature and getting fresh air. It’s good for both of us. Outdoor time is great for burning off energy and doing activities that Rosebud can’t do indoors. I know how important outside play is, but I get anxious about her possibly swallowing a rock, eating mouth fulls of dirt which she did today or if she tries to run off. My yard is fenced in, but there are lots of places to escape to if we go walking or if we go to the playground that is not fenced in. I know some of this will get better as she gets older and maybe I’ll enjoy outside play more. For now, I will do my best to enjoy these moments outside even if we’ve stopped for the fiftieth time while walking down our short path to the mailboxes because Rosebud is learning and appreciating the world around her.

Our next adventure is filling the sand box. Rosebud loves to dig in the dirt so I know she’ll love it.

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