We had been planning to take Carter to the movies for a while, and this weekend we decided Carter might like to see "Puss in Boots". So we went to a 10:00 am showing, and I think Carter enjoyed it. His attention span is not quite long enough for a movie, though. He spent most of the movie in my lap being wiggly and snuggly. I think he had a good time, but he's really not ready for movies!
After that we had lunch at a pizza place near the movie theater and then took Carter for ice cream. All the way home in the car Carter kept saying he had too much energy and he needed to get it out, so when we got home we got out the jumping castle for him.
This was a great purchase, I have to say. I think we only paid $240 for it, and it fits in our living room perfectly. It's quick to pull out and set up, and Carter loves it.
We went to the grocery store later that afternoon -- always a frustrating experience on the weekend. Carter likes to push the cart, which is ordinarily not a problem, but today I had to spend the whole time trying to keep him from crashing into other people. By the end of the trip, he was pretty frustrated. That theme continued for the whole evening, culminating in him melting down when I made up a story that didn't end the way he wanted it to. Meltdowns like that are sort of like volcano eruptions following a long buildup of pressure, and afterwards everything is better. And it basically was: We snuggled and played, and he helped me do some laundry.
I've been experimenting with using stories to navigate our way through difficult situations, with interesting results. For example, if he got upset about something, later on I'll tell him a story about a little boy who got upset about something similar, and I let him tell me what happened and fill in many of the details. It works a lot better than asking him directly to reflect on what happened that upset him. And so it was interesting tonight that he got so upset when I got the story "wrong". It tells me that the stories are working as a way to let him talk about his emotions.
I think we kept him up a little too late tonight, actually. I forgot about the time change! I tried to cut his bedtime routine a little short, and he resisted that completely. The bedtime routine is very important to him, and I should know by now to let the whole thing play out -- it's easier in the end, even if it means we all get to bed a little later.
Here are a couple of pictures of Carter with Gabi from yesterday. After avoiding Carter for 3.5 years, Gabi recently decided she likes him. She follows him around, asking to be petted, and shows tremendous patience with him, even letting him pick her up and carry her around. I have no idea why she suddenly became so friendly, but Carter is definitely enjoying it!
That's it for today. :-)