Cowboy has spent the last 3+ months visiting a variety of medical professionals in two different settings, for two different issues (nothing overly serious, but painful and frustrating to say the least). As his chauffeur to most of these events, I bring along our two youngest sidekicks. Spud’s enthusiasm for each medical office or hospital waxes and wanes in direct correlation to his assessment of the toy area and available food sources. As FB’s mobility has increased over the span of our visits, he is no longer content to be confined in the stroller or frontpack as a mere observer—he wants to jump into the fray as well.
But an hour or more average appointment time spent in a waiting room with three puzzles, a semi-complete Mr. Potatohead, some scribbled-in Highlights magazines, and Planet Earth droning in the background at some point becomes a pro-meltdown environment. So a mama gets creative. I galumph the stroller out the self-closing 50-lb door as a 36-pound four year old tries his manly best to hold it open, and we head off in search of adventure.
We’ve watched window washers at work, birds in city situations, delivery vans, city buses, etc. Last week, though, was the best experience yet. At the end of a mile-long vacant (other than the doctor’s office where Cowboy’s appointments are) hallway (that may or may not be good for running up and down), a window looks out over a parking garage and the road below.
For a full 15 minutes both boys watched the goings-on with remarkable concentration. Spud read the word BUMP on the road and kept up a steady stream of observations and imaginings about the vehicles. We tracked one car from the top floor of the parking garage to the bottom—kind of like a giant marble run. FB was just as focused—drawn in by the lights and movement, bouncing up and down and drooling in approval.
Only 15 minutes, but it was just what we all needed. I can’t wait to do it again.
How do you help your children enjoy long wait times in public places?