Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Assertiveness Training at Tot Town

It's actually called Tahoe Tot Spot, and it happens to be where I've spent the last two mornings re-acclimating to daytime single-parenting. Carrie has an AP English training this week, so we've combined a vacation visit to my dad's in South Lake Tahoe with her professional obligation on north shore. Tahoe Tot Spot is a super fun indoor playground I wrote about in April where there is open playtime for toddlers from 10 - 2 almost every day. It's about a thousand square feet of gym mats, trampolines, balls (an entire pool of balls pictured above), scooters, dolls, toys, and other kids. And best of all, it's a prelude to long-assed afternoon naps - which I happen to be enjoying right now.

It's also a great venue for other parents to get adult contact. I've been pleasantly surprised by how candid both the moms and dads I've met there are. Parenting is truly an experience that can unite total strangers - like surviving natural disasters or war. There is also the common thread of pride and joy we all experience and there is no better audience than another parent dying to share their story.

Yesterday's visit at "The Spot" was relatively uneventful. The owner's daughter, Daisy showed Amari the ropes and invited her to play a game of make believe family where (I know it's a stretch) I was The Dad, Amari was The Kid, and she was The Big Sister. Very Cute. I learned later that she has a big sister of her own and wants more than anything to be one herself. According to her mom, she's SOL outside the realm of make believe. I don't blame mom, two seems like plenty.

Today, however, there was another (much less adorable) little sister longing to be big. I should preface by telling you that she also had some weird skin condition all over her legs and arms that made me uncomfortable in a protective parenting kind of way. I'm sure it wasn't contagious, but that didn't stop me from tracking where the kid had sat and what she had touched.

In the kitchen area Amari was playing her third round of fill the shopping cart with fake fruits and veggies when Scabby decided to join in and help with the shopping. Amari didn't mind the girl filling the cart for her, but when she tried to help push the cart Amari (sort of) gently removed her hand. The girl persisted, and the second time, Amari grabbed her by the wrist, removed her hand from the cart, and then backed the girl up to the closest wall and placed her arm against it. Had I not seen the events leading up to her acts, I might have worried Amari was bullying the three year-old, but having witnessed the whole thing I felt a little pride mixed with some serious worry that she'd touched a very rashy, disgusting wrist for much, much too long.

Later on, back in the Ball Pool, Amari was gaining confidence, sliding off the edge and into the pool and eventually letting me toss her in from the edge. Towards the end of our time, a grandma showed up with two boys - probably about two and four years old. I don't usually believe in coincidence and this was no exception, because at approximately the same time as the two boys showed up, the Pool of Balls started smelling like poo. And by approximately, I mean exactly, and by started smelling like poo, I mean really started smelling like poo. As a subtle gesture, I said, "Amari, did you make poo poo?" then picked her up and checked her pants. The other parents ignored my hint. I rinsed, repeated, and said out loud, "Let me double check. Nope. No poo poo here." Nothing. Finally, I said, "I think somebody in this pool has a doo doo." The mom and grandma checked and both said they'd found nothing. Later on in the kitchen area, same grandma, same boys, same smell. Mercifully, it was noon and time to head home for this glorious nap...

When Amari wakes up, we'll have lunch and head down to the community pool. So far on this vacation she has graduated from her four inches of water at home to Jess's two foot pool to my dad's hot tub to full immersion in a nice outdoor pool by the lake. Video and pictures coming soon. For now, here are some more action shots from Tot Town.


Protective Gear

Ahhhh, balls of poo...

No comments:

Post a Comment