The Littlest Flynn

This kid. Man, I'm tellin' ya. He is something else. I'm in love with these photos that Mike captured during a "dad and little dude" day at the park when I was in San Francisco in June. We just got them back from the lab and I don't think they could be more perfect. I'm just a little jealous I wasn't there to take part in Las Paletas and jumping off stairs. He captured the moments so beautifully.

We've been ending each night with a park venture lately. Toby has made all kinds of new friends, and he's taken an interest in football, too. The other night we were at the playground watching him play with a new friend and then that sort of awkward thing happens: You see a stranger's child push your own kid down on the playground for the first time. We kept our calm and watched the situation to see if they were just playing (we think they were, it didn't seem malicious at first) but all of these thoughts came over me. We watched for another minute and saw Toby push the kid right back, and then we called him over to us on the bench. I quickly spoke up and said "Toby, we don't push other kids on the playground, ok? That's not very nice." He said "Yes ma'am" and went back to playing. I thought about it a lot over the next day or two and even brought it up to Mike last night while we were sitting at that park once more. I told him "I know I shouldn't say this, and it's probably all sorts of wrong to admit, but when I saw Toby push that kid back the other night, I was a little bit proud. Not that he'd resort to violence or being a bully, but because he stood up for himself. He didn't whine or cry to us about it. He just wouldn't be pushed around by a bigger kid." Mike said he thought the same thing, and before I told Toby not to resort to fighting he was going to tell him that if another kid ever did that to him, to do it back, but he figured my response was a little more mature.

I know, I should never condone or tolerate any kid being a bully (even my own) but really, part of me was proud that he wouldn't just take it lying down ya know? I guess we won't know for sure if they were playing or not (Toby thinks they were), but I guess a little rough-housin' is normal for boys. It just got my brain thinking about all of the experiences we'll have as he gets older. First day of school, first crush, first broken heart, first fight (I really hope not, but you know...), etc. 

Every time I look at these pictures I see a three year old going on sixteen. That's such a cliche, I know, but it's true. To see where he's at as opposed to where he was when he first moved in, it's incredible. Anytime he goes to his grandparents' for a visit and comes home a couple of days later I'm floored by how much I feel like he's grown. I guess those are the transformations you don't really notice much when they're right in front of you, but these pictures speak a thousand words.  This is a new chapter for us, and so far it's been really really fun.

If you'd like to see the rest of the photos from this outing, check them out on our Him + Honey blog!

28 comments:

  1. This post was so cute it got me a little misty eyed. I've been following your blog for a while and watching you all adjust to having Toby in your life, and vice versa.

    It's all really sweet and endearing, and I just wanted to say that from an outsider's perspective I think you are doing a great job.

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  2. How adorable :)

    Kids will be kids, he's young and you're on the right track telling him it's wrong. Even if it was malicious, Toby stood up for himself, nobody got hurt, all fun and games. God, when I have a kid I will be forever worried about that sorta thing.

    When he's bigger he will learn what's right and what's wrong and hopefully will use words rather than his fits! heh heh

    xx

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  3. Not only has Toby grown and changed, but I think your readers can see that you have as well. Your blog is so full of love these days and even more passion than before which I imagine is natural when you become a parent. I've loved reading your blog and always will. Thank you for talking about what's "real" and being so open- you really are an absolute inspiration.

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  4. My little boy is the same age and I feel exactly the same way about kids on the playground. I would've said the same thing about not pushing other kids, but I would've hoped that my son would've stuck up for himself as well and not allowed someone to push him down in that situation. I think this age by far is the best age, they speak their minds and learn so much each day. Thanks for sharing this, I loved it! :)

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  5. these photos came out incredibly!!! wow!! :) and i totally feel ya. i'm not a parent, but those two reactions would have probably been similar to what i would have had.

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  6. Mike capture him so well! Little boys are so interesting to watch, you are doing an amazing job at being mama to him! He is one lucky boy to have two loving parents! xx Can't wait to see more of this little man grow up.

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  7. Oh my gosh. He is adorable! It makes me so excited for my little guy to to be his age. :)

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  8. He's such a cutie pie! Such great parenting!

    xoxo
    Ariel

    http://littlelion-girl.blogspot.com/

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  9. what a sweet post! so full of love.
    i think you handled that situation very well!
    and those pictures are stunning, i love the first one.
    xo, cheyenne

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  10. What a cutie pie! It's hard not to feel proud in a situation like that. Of course you don't want him to be a bully but I think it's the comfort in knowing that he would stand up for himself if no one was able to defend him.

    http://livefreeandfashionable.wordpress.com/

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  11. Ahh hes such a doll I know what you mean its hard when things like that happen. I am one of those moms that never lets my eyes off my son (he just turned 5) kinda daring someone to mess with him and I am right there to save the day lol. I am stressing out about him starting school. The kids here in Saudi are major brats so you always to watch out for everything and my son is nice but I hope that I have taught him to stand up for himself. You never want your kid to pushed around nor be a bully like you said.

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  12. Totally random but if you look at that first picture right before you see Toby, those tree trunks look like ballerina legs/feet lol! Anyway I'm all about teaching my kid to stand up for himself. It will take time for them to learn the difference between standing up for yourself and being a bully. It really comes down to what you allow and how they are disciplined, in my opinion. I love reading about this new chapter in yall's lives :)

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  13. Aww great pics! What a cutie!

    It's funny because my co-worker was telling me a similar story yesterday, how a bigger kid went up to her son in the park and tried to take her son's ball from him. Her son pushed the kid away and said no. She too had those mixed feelings of "I don't want him to think resorting to violence and pushing is ok all of the time, but I'm proud that he stood up for himself against a bully". I think you handled it well.

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  14. There is a difference between being a bully and sticking up for yourself - its not like your little one started it! To be honest I think you and Mike both have it right on this one. You shouldn't condone violence but at the same time kids need to know that its ok to stand up for themselves.

    Adorable photos, and Toby is just such a little heart-breaker!

    Lauren
    alittlelessoflauren.blogspot.com

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  15. I have two boys and yes they dovrough house alil and i have to get on to them. You def did the right thing and its def ok to be proud that he stood up for himself that means he will always stand for what he believes instead of letting other push him around.

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  16. i don't mind if the kids fight as long as it is fair. i think in our times it is an incredibly important ability to stand up for yourself. of course you have to watch and make sure it doesn't turn into bullying,and they should know that violence is not an answer, but i always try to keep out of it as long as possible. it doesn't mean i don't care, or i'm lazy. it's even more effort to just watch, and note everything, and be ready to step in.
    your little one seems to be really self reliant, that's so cool!

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  17. so so adorable! such a great post

    www.modernsuburbanites.blogspot.com

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  18. I don't know if its politically correct, but I always told my kids {particularly my son} that there was a two strike rule. If they were hit/pushed/bullied once, they were to take it & try to negotiate out of the problem. If they were hit again, they had my permission to defend themselves. My son is 16 and he has only had two confrontations thus far & both times he was coming to defense of another child {& I was bursting with pride}....
    You've done good!

    http://aclosetintellectual.blogspot.com/

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  19. Tody is so adorable and you are absolutely amazing. It's wonderful how much love you have for him. From my own experience, it can be difficult for people to accept their partner's child(ren) but it's so apparent how much you care for Toby.

    With regards to him pushing back, I remember when "the hardest kid in school" started on my little brother. My bro punched this kid right in the face and I was so proud. He's not a violent kid, but he won't take that from other people.

    Becky
    xx

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  20. How adorable is he! It's good he'll stick up for himself, I agree. You two are doing an awesome job raising him. :)

    Rose Eva
    SilhouettedBlog

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  21. I love your blog, just discovered! you are a true inspiration!
    kisses, Angie

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  22. He looks absolutely precious and you can tell that he loves to explore. Lucky you to have this little man in your life!

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  23. What a precious little kid!! He's going to be a heartbreaker.

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  24. What a sweet post. Toby is so lucky to have you two as his parents. <3

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  25. Honestly, I can understand how you'd be proud. Some children (that I even know) have bullied my 5 year old and he starts to cry or he tries to be really nice to them and they don't care and he runs to me. . and although I like being his little security blanket, I do want him to know how to be confident in himself and defend himself if it were to get too rough one day and I am not RIGHT there, you know?

    Anyway, I love these pictures and think it is great that he is obedient of you.

    +Victoria+

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HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB