Sunday, October 23, 2005

run, don't walk

My child runs away -- toward, away from, for whatever reason -- whenever I put him down. It is near impossible to have him free, out of his stroller, in a public place. Especially one that includes roads and cars. Say, a park in the middle of a city -- like Hyde Park in downtown Sydney.

I continue my temporary single parent role. (Is it inappropriate to refer to myself in this way? Am I slighting true single parents and my husband with one phrase?) Iz and I are still with my mother in Sydney. We are managing to do some fun, interesting things even under the stressful circumstances.

We had to get out last night -- I could not be in the apartment for another moment. I have not been trapped there; we have been out and about for a bit every day. But I had an overwhelming urge to get out (and run?). It was 5pm and, even on a Saturday, all the shops downtown close at 6pm. We went anyway.

After a bit of shopping, we stopped at Starbucks for a sandwich to share and a coffee for me. (It is usually unnecessary to go to Starbucks here, in a land of great coffee. But we were desperate and everything else was closed by 6:15.)

Then we tried to have an imporomptu picnic on the grass in Hyde Park. It was lovely at dusk -- the darkeing sky, the city lights. Iz stayed in his storller and actually ate something -- pesto chicken bits from the sandwich. But the moment I let him out, he took off toward Park Street. A little wall, one foot high or so. separated him from the sidewalk and road. He could scale that with no problem. If the drop of several feet on the other side didn't hurt him, the road he looked intent on running into would.

When I caught him and turned him around, he took off toward the center of the park -- certainly safer than the road -- and he was 50 feet away from me in mere seconds.

After the running, we checked out a fun photography exhibit, "Sydney Life," which was installed on huge pieces of canvas in the central walkway of the park. I let Iz out again, and he ran down the paved walkway, under the huge, bright white lanterns, away from me.

Between this outing and a bunch of others, I now have a ton of pictures of Iz's back.

I put him down, and he goes.

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