This small apartment is slowing Carter down, he's bored with his toys, and I want him surrounded by his favorite thing - other kids. The other day, we took him to Marbles Kids' Museum in downtown Raleigh.
The place was really impressive, it had water play tables, craft zones, an area for kids to dance around, dress up and tons of other stunning themes.
After dodging being knocked over by hundreds of elated, running kids, we found a gated area that looked about Carter's age, filled to the brim, bubbling with wobbly toddlers. Except Carter's not technically toddling yet, so he was bullied by babies bobbling over to him, swiping his toys and victoriously hurrying away with their prize (so much for making friends!).
Aside from watching Carter have a blast, what stood out to me was the other parents. Almost all the parents were sitting on the sidelines, pretending to watch their kids but actually staring into space, looking suicidal and completely zoned out. Some moms zoned in just in time to stop their babies from stealing Carter's toys, but a lot of them never noticed. (One thing I've learned about myself is that I'm a huge advocate for controlling your own child, but I will not interfere with telling someone else's what to do).
My instinct told me they were all there for the same reasons we were, to let their babies play with new toys and burn some energy. But they didn't want to be there. When their babies picked up an orange, plastic thing-y and hit another baby over the head with it, neither baby even learned that weapon was called a carrot.
Call me overbearing (please, go ahead, because I think I am), but I was following Carter around, showing him how to work things, telling him what things were, and making sure he didn't get trampled over. He's my only baby, I'm in the mindset that I've only got one chance to do it all right.
Later that day, I was looking through pictures we took. And gasp. Despite my best efforts, I guess I breathed in some of that zombie parent air.
So, I saw this picture and decided all those people probably weren't essentially hands-off parents. That place really just needs a
little huge coffee shop attached to it.