Today the word that sums up the week that was is:
Now that Arthur has this toddling thing pretty sussed we’re beginning to venture into the outside world more and more. We had a little bit of a false start when we managed to lose one of his gorgeous new shoes after he’d only worn them a couple of times. I’m pretty sure he’s hidden it somewhere really clever, but having searched for a week we had to bite the bullet and get a replacement pair.
The beginning of this week was actually full of lots of writing – I had a couple if pithy blog posts I needed to get out of my system, and the novel is going really well. For Arthur this has meant my preoccupation with the computer extending beyond his nap time, and whilst he’s getting very good at keeping himself entertained whilst turning my study upside down I thought I should make up for it with a bit of an adventure.
So on Wednesday afternoon we set off on our very first walk out of the house with Arthur standing on his own two feet: I didn’t even take the sling! We were headed for Shoalstone Pool – in summer a glorious seawater lido, but out of season a great place for an explore. It took a while to get there even though it’s right on our doorstep: whilst I held tight to his hand Arthur marvelled at his new perspective on things. He was fascinated by the window ledges, the pavement, the (parked) cars – and had to stop and look at every leaf and flower we passed. But when we got to the empty carpark above the pool I let his hand go – and that’s when the exploring really began.
He was so excited to be free! He kept looking back to make sure I was following him (which I was, very closely) but was clearly loving the freedom, the sensations of the sea air and the early evening light. He got a bit distracted by the railings at one point…
He held on and rested his face against the metal, and I’m pretty sure actually licked them too. Can’t do any harm though, right?
When the inevitable happened and he took a bit of a tumble, his feet not quite keeping up with his enthusiasm, I was ready to sweep him up and cuddle away the cry. But then I realised he was exploring the tarmac, taking the time to run his fingers over it before carefully bringing himself back to standing without so much as a whimper.
After a bit I carried him down the steps to the poolside. I was caught up in the beauty of the setting sun reflecting on the water, watching the fishing boats come in with seagulls circling their catch. Arthur though was more interested in trailing his fingers along the wall by the mural, looking up occasionally at the giant multicoloured fish but just as intrigued by the pebbles and puddles, all the different textures each new step brought.
It was quite an eye-opener for me, that Arthur-led exploration. I found myself focusing on all sorts of things I wouldn’t usually notice – I’ve really had to rein myself in with what I’ve selected here as I could go on for hours! And all in a walk I’ve done countless times before that would normally take less than five minutes.
After a definite taste of spring this week, I cannot wait for summer with my new little explorer – I have a feeling there’s an awful lot he’s going to teach me over the next few months.