While Eddie’s sisters were attending a volleyball camp recently, Eddie and I had a rare opportunity to spend a few hours alone. Although I had plenty of errands to run, and things to do, I decided to take it slow and operate on Eddie time. We began by visiting my sister and her fiancé and then had lunch with James, Eddie’s Dad. Eddie was in a great mood, enjoying being the center of attention for a change. (His younger sister usually steals the show.)
After lunch, we still had two hours to spare. I gave him many options and our conversation went a little like this:
“Do you want to go to the mall?”
“Do you want to go to the park?”
“Do you want to drive around?”
This went on for about five minutes. Finally, I asked Eddie if he wanted to go to the toy store, and he replied with another “No.” So, I decided we were going there anyway.
Before going inside, I explained what we were going to do in the store. I told him that we would find all the toys that made interesting sounds, and that he could listen and play with them as long as he wanted. I told him that if he found something he liked, I’d be happy to buy it for him, but he could only pick one thing.
While talking to him, I realized that he’d never been able to spend time in a toy store without an agenda and without the loud distractions his sisters easily provided. When they were with us, the constant “Mom! Can we have_______?!?!” was the only sound to be heard and Eddie was forced to tag along. This time, I’d be the one tagging along and he’d be the one asking for something in his own way.
Eddie and I entered this unique, local toy store and immediately found items of interest. We walked right into the musical toy section, and he tried out almost everything. Then, we found a shelf of stuffed birds that made actual birdcalls and he tried almost every one, smiling and laughing the whole time. Next, we found a shelf of novelty toys that squeaked, rattled, honked, and more. Multiple items on this shelf held his interest.
We were in the toy store for almost two hours and we only visited three aisles. For once, we were truly on “Eddie time.” If a toy caught his interested, I asked if he wanted to “have it at home.” Every time he said, “No,” except once. When he played with the toy bird in a cage, as seen in this photo of him, he couldn’t get enough. I asked if he wanted it at home and it was the first “yes” I’d heard all day.
Not only did Eddie get to bring the caged bird home, but I also managed to sneak a bunch of items onto the counter to save for Christmas. By taking time in the toy store, I was able to see him examine a variety of toys. I quickly saw what he took an interest in and what he didn’t like. We really had a great day. We both desperately needed the chance to slow down…and to simply enjoy being on “Eddie time.”