I've read that one of the reasons 2-year-olds are so ornery is that they are trying to understand how the world works. They insist on having the same plate everyday because it brings a sense of balance into their developing worlds. (And, we all love balance, right?)
So, I shouldn't be surprised that moving a 2-and-a-half-year-old boy into a new home hasn't gone over so well. The first night, he refused to sleep in his bed and had screaming spells that outlasted my husband's patience. As my husband reached for the Benadryl, I whisked our kid off to the guest bedroom to sleep drug-free with Mommy for the night. Neither of us is especially proud of our behavior, but it got us past 2 a.m.
It doesn't help that we moved most of his furniture – crib, changing table, rocking chair – into the room designated for his soon-to-be baby brother. My little boy's world is changing, and though he likes his new Thomas the Train-themed room, he needs normalcy.
A few Ashburn main-stays have been fabulous for providing this continuity. Everyday, when I pick my kid up from daycare, we find ourselves in a kid-friendly spot that he's come to love. These fun, free places are gradually saving our sanity and our sleep.
Ashburn Library – Our local library is a wonderful place to go. Air-conditioned and free, it boasts a humongous children's section where kids of all ages can explore books on their own level. My son loves pulling books from the toddler shelves and bringing them to me to read. I can sit my pregnant butt on the couch and keep an eye on him wherever he goes. Definite win!
Broadlands Nature Center - I used to live within walking distance of this gem, so I'm a little biased. But, I'll still drive out to let my son enjoy a few minutes of the animal displays before they close at 5 p.m. He never gets tired of the live turtles, rabbits, frogs, fish and birds. We both love the little kids' section with throw pillows, comfy chairs and books.
Ashburn Park - On shady days, I cover my son and myself in bug spray and head over to what is affectionately known as Dinosaur Park. Designed to keep kids interested until their pre-teen years, Dinosaur Park has a something for everyone.
Lansdowne Spraygrounds - This one isn't in Ashburn, but the step beyond to Lansdowne is worth it. Just mentioning “the sprinklers” is sure to brighten my son’s mood and have him smiling. Once there, I can sit down on the edge and watch him run and play in the water with the other kids.