We went for a meal at our friends' house at the weekend and took George. George played happily, obliviously stomping through completed jigsaws and scattering carefully arranged toys that our friends' daughter – who is reception-class age – was playing with. A little embarrassed, we apologised and dragged him away on numerous occasions, explaining that he is still learning to play.
When it came to bed time, George flatly refused and the only way we could get him to stop crying was to sit him up in his pushchair at the end of the table so he could preside over us eating. Eventually he realised that watching people eat wasn't particularly exciting and he dropped off.
It can be so easy to sit at home and not go anywhere or do anything, simply because it's less hassle, but having sympathetic friends takes such a lot of stress out of the hassle and makes going out enjoyable.
Next week is going to be an even more severe test of adapting to change in the daily and bedtime routine as we're off on a family holiday to Corfu. Once we're there, I'm sure things will fall into place, and besides, nanna and grandad will be there to help too.
I think it's the flight bit that's mostly filling us with dread – nothing to do with flying, just the fact that George will have to be restricted and confined to a small space for more than 10 minutes. Hopefully he won't find his way into the button-and-lights paradise of the cockpit, where he could do a lot more damage than demolish a jigsaw. On the up side, there definitely won't be any vehicles to look at out of the windows so we won't have to listen to him shout 'van' for three hours.
Then again, if it's half as stressful as shopping for him, then I think we'll be OK. I just can't understand the pea-brained logic of putting baby and toddler departments on upper floors so that mums and dads with pushchairs have to queue for lifts (which are nearly always at the back of the shop and the size of a toilet cubicle) or precariously negiotiate escalators. It's annoying, inconsiderate and potentially dangerous and certainly persuades me to patronise other more sensible shops in future.
I don't know, why can't shops be as understanding as friends?