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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

E-mail Cheryl Bac

About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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No Plans

Uploaded: Apr 30, 2016
We recently flew to the Midwest to visit grandparents and great grandparents.

Our only plans were to spend time together and go to the bookstore. But we found ourselves with an abundance of things to do.

My mom not only kept many toys from my own childhood, but also swaps toys with another grandma and good friend in the neighborhood. Whenever grandkids visit, they grab a few extra toys from each other's basements for the little ones to enjoy.

Our kids had so much fun exploring grandma's bins of "kid stuff." Our son found a slinky to go down the stairs, some old Tonka trucks, and a stack of old board games. Our daughter enjoyed filling up a Connect Four board and bouncing balls all over the house.

Having no plans doesn't always work. Sometimes it's overwhelming and other times it is boring. But sometimes it creates lasting memories.
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 +   5 people like this
Posted by Buffy, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown,
on Apr 30, 2016 at 6:18 pm

Reading this blog is the mental equivalent of watching Romper Room or Mister Roger's Neighborhood.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on May 1, 2016 at 8:11 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Buffy - Thanks for the feedback

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Mother of 4 , a resident of Palo Verde School,
on May 3, 2016 at 1:06 pm

We learned a long time ago that making a trip to see family can be very overwhelming for young kids. They spend a lot of time in a house that isn't familiar with people they don't know. They are out of routine, sleeping in strange beds and even using strange and unfamiliar cups, plates, etc. etc. We found that the best trips were the ones when we spent most of the time hanging out with the people we were staying with. If other relatives wanted to see us, we invited them to where we were staying. If there was something special we wanted to do, like a local famous site or activity, we only did it once and for a short time as anything more seemed too much for a toddler to handle and would result in even the most calm child having temper tantrums and becoming uncooperative.

Instead, as you so rightly suggest, some old fashioned toys, a walk to a local playground and the opportunity to do something familiar (like a happy meal at MacDonalds) worked best for our young ones. The busier outings to local places of interest can wait until they are old enough to handle them.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on May 3, 2016 at 6:15 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4 - Thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, it's interesting to see how our kids have behaved when grandma or other relatives come to us vs us going to visit them.

 +   3 people like this
Posted by Agree with Buffy , a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on May 9, 2016 at 1:15 pm

Have to agree with Buffy, this blog is written at a toddlers level, rather than by someone who touts a Phd in psychology.

You basically just broke down ever visit to the grandparents. No real plans, just visit. And yet, in the absence of 'plans', things happened anyway. Incredible! Oh, and kids love playing with toys that are new to them. Insightful!!

I really want to like your blog, but Cheryl you make it very very hard.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on May 9, 2016 at 7:36 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Agree with Buffy- Thanks for your feedback.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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