I've talked for years about wanting to move out to a country property with lots of acreage. This morning I saw just how amazing it would be for our little Benjamin.
Lately, Benjamin has been tough. It's tough on his brothers, who bear the brunt of his destructive tantrums. It's tough on us as parents who listen to the yelling and screaming fits. It's also really tough on Benjamin who can't seem to get it all figured out yet and is just having a really hard time.
This morning we went for a play out at a friend's house in the country. She (with husband and 3 boys the same ages as mine) used to live on our street, but bought a house and 10 acres just outside of town this past summer. This was the first time we were getting out there.
We sat in the front of the house on some cute wicker chairs and let our two year olds roam the expansive front yard. Everything is fenced in, but there is so much space it wouldn't have mattered if it wasn't. Benjamin, left to his own devices, was in his element. It was an expansion of the view I glimpsed during our camping trip this summer, when he had a taste of freedom that he couldn't really enjoy to the fullest extent.
But here, at our friend's house, I didn't have to hover behind him. He dug in the garden and rode a bike around and climbed in the bushes and ran in the fields. He played with his friend as they pushed each other around on a car too big for either to pedal on their own.
There was no fighting. No screaming. No tantrums. No crying.
I made a mental note that a high energy two year old does not need another high energy two year old to play with. This friend is an easy-going kid, one that before today I would have thought would have been scared off by Benjamin's plough-you-down enthusiasm. I've always arranged play dates with other kids who have energy to match Benjamin. Now I know better.
As we pulled out after two hours of play, Benjamin gave a big yawn and proclaimed he was tired. We've been fighting him to take a nap the last week. He has major meltdowns (more than normal) when he doesn't nap, and yet hasn't had the stimulation he needs in order to be tired enough to sleep. Not so, today. Today he passed out and is still sleeping more than two hours later.
Oh, Benjamin, how I wish I had ten acres for you. I can see now how much good it would do for you. And for me. You would get the freedom you crave, but my mind would be eased concerning your safety. We'll figure it out, kiddo, I promise.