"That wasn't so bad."
"Not as bad as last time."
"Could have been worse."
These are the comments that define a successful outing with toddler. For some ridiculous reason, I thought I would be better than the average human at going on outings with a toddler. I thought I would be more patient, be better prepared, be able to redirect and distract more efficiently...or just have a more well-behaved child, aka a child that is above average in the behavior category. Well, I am not and I don't.
We had some pretty epic fails in the outing department several months ago. So great a fail and so many that I had developed a sort of anxiety to take my son out in public. I would avoid it at all costs. Which made my toddler's world quite small, a circuit of daycare, home, Grandma's house, Shager's house. This short circuit made my anxiety stay at a minimum, but it really stifled my toddler's ability to learn and explore. It was not practical to avoid taking him anywhere.
So we have been re-emerging into the world of the living. Taking short jaunts out in public, where there are other human beings and things. We went out to brunch yesterday and Costco today. Luckily, each outing was followed by the comments from above.
I think that two months in the world of a toddler is an eternity. So much maturation and growth can, and did, happen. That is not to say that there was not a dunking of a little hand in a cup of syrup and then a freak out because the syrup was sticky or that there was not a snotty, loud, "NOOOOOOO" with arm flaps and kicks when he was told he had to stay in the cart. Each outing was also prefaced with a discussion about how a big boy acts: sitting nice and not crying. The pre-game may or may not have involved a certain toddler to "promise" that he will be good before we could leave the house. And then a reminder about his "promise" before we leave the car once at our destination.
He enjoyed himself and my anxiety is in-check. Win-win.