Floss loves Baby Gym - I love Baby Gym - DadDad loves Baby Gym! It's bright, colourful, soft and full of gross motor activities perfect for little ones under 5. When we first went she used to be a little clingy and we'd do things together either the two or three of us; such a lovely time.
Today was Baby Gym; just Floss and me. When did I turn into a taxi?
When we arrive in the car Floss lets out a little giggle; she recognises where we are. We head inside and she's eager to be let through the little gate that keeps all the little ones from escaping! The gate opens and she's off, crawling - currently her fastest mode of movement. She's not just going anywhere she's looking for something. She hesitates, looks around and she's off again in the direction of a rocker. She gets to it and quite quickly gets onto the rocker. I'm remembering the days when we would help her onto the rocker. She doesn't need that anymore. Time's going so fast.
Floss spends the next 30 minutes exploring the area, finding the things she knows and likes and discovering new things to try. She's confident. Independent. She checks in once in a while with a glance to see I'm still here and continues being busy busy. I'm really enjoying observing what she is doing. There's been some walking (proud Mommy moment) and I hold back running over, scooping her up and telling her how fabulous I think she is. She's busy and she's walking because she has something in both hands, so crawling is impractical. I don't want to disturb her from her plan.
Oh, but wait, Floss is on her way over to me. There's a big smile on her face and I instantly feel my face smiling back at her. She wants me, needs me. Maybe to have a little snuggle, recharge ready for her next adventure at Baby Gym. Almost here, I can't wait. Suddenly, she grabs my hand and turns and begins to walk off in a different direction. It's quite far over the other side of Baby Gym we are walking. We've got to the little house and she's let go of my hand in a flash and in the house before I even know what's happened. I stand there laughing out loud (I'm sure I look like I've lost my mind) - oh yes - I have just been used as a human taxi. Obviously, much quicker to get Mom to lend a hand to get to my destination! I am redundant. No, I'm a tool, a resource to be wielded as Floss sees fit.
I sit back watching my fearlessly, independent 18 month old navigating her environment confidently. Carefully, considering others and looking to engage them with a smile or by passing them a toy. I'm so proud of her. I start to feel my eyes watering. Oh get a grip I think to myself; two minutes ago you were manically laughing to yourself. If you start crying now people really are going to think you've gone nuts. I pull myself together, but can't get the huge smile of myself. I'm happy to be this little ones taxi to the moon and back, as long as I get to come along for the ride.