Ian has been going on daddy-son outings several times of late. The Wife and Vanessa got hit with Chicken Pox, so they’ve been quarantined away from Ian. Or, rather, Ian has been quarantined away to keep the Chicken Pox from getting to him. So when there’s free time, like during the weekends, I’ll decontaminate myself, hop over to pick up Ian, and bring him out for some galavanting.
From time to time, I’d bring Vanessa and Ian out on my own. I’ve little trouble managing the two of them together, so it’s even lesser of an issue with just Ian alone. Actually, the main problem to manage the two of them on my own is when we’ve sat down for a meal such as at a restaurant, and then Vanessa wants to go to the toilet. Problematic.
On the daddy-son outings, I think Ian misses his sister. It’s because there’s only so much baby that the daddy can pretend to be. There’s no Vanessa to hold his hand. There’s no Vanessa to talk and do silly baby things with.
I’ve realized a funny thing that they are a lot easier to manage when I bring them out on my own, as compared when there are more people around (yes, even including the Wife). They actually will listen and obey instructions. Well, mostly. It’s good enough for me anyway.
Like you see in the above photo. I tell Ian to drink his water. He obediently picks up his bottle and drinks. When we walk around, I tell the two kids to hold each other’s hand. I can then walk ahead of them, and they will follow behind me. Sometimes I’d end up somewhat ahead of them, and curious people look on and wonder about the two kids seemingly going galavanting on their own.
Oh, but occasionally they have a mind of their own. The last weekend, after dropping off some library books at the book drop outside the library, they held each other’s hands and went on straight into the library. I hadn’t intended to go into the library that day. But alright, too late, they were already inside. So I went along and saw that they were headed to the children’s books section. I told the two kids, I’ll browse my books, they go look at theirs. They happily went off on their own. (I can easily watch the area that’s the only way out of the children’s book section, so no danger of losing them.)
I imagined had I insisted on not going into the library, they’d probably complain for a few moments then eventually give up. They just need their attention turned to something else.
This is a good time because they can both enjoy each other’s company, Vanessa can play the role of big sister and learn some responsibilities, and Ian can learn a couple of things from his sister. This sounds very much like the Train the Trainers approach to parenting.