I think we must’ve temporarily lost our minds because we decided to go with Joshi to the Sydney light show (Vivid) this week. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it’s a massive light show projected onto Sydney’s landmark buildings.
After a few nights of deliberating around whether or not to go we decided we would, just to be done with it and move past the procrastination. Yes, a ridiculous reason to venture out into the cold with a toddler to one of the most stimulating events in Sydney, but there you have it. Sometimes it’s these sorts of decisions which keep me humble by showing me that I too make some foolish choices.
Before going Simon and I’d spoken about what we’d probably be in for – heaps of traffic, limited parking close to the event, large crowds, and a potentially crazed and overstimulated toddler who by the end of the evening doesn’t want to sleep even though he’s completely and utterly exhausted. On the upside we would get to see some colourful lights. Honestly, when I read over what I’ve just written I realize just how ridiculous I can be sometimes.
We were right. It was hard to find parking. Simon ended up dropping Joshi and I at the event before finding one. I had Joshi all snuggly wrapped up against me in the ergo … and there was no way I was going to let him out of it. We literally walked around for no more than 20 minutes before making a plan for Simon to pick us up and take us home. Look, they did a great job of putting together some incredible lights on the opera house, customs house and the Contemporary Arts Museum. Every photographer under the sun was there, and rightly so. But I felt that what was lacking was a bit of heart and soul. Loud clubbing music, lots of weird little lighting constructions and a ridiculous amount of people trying to get past each other while taking it all in (or in our case trying not to!).
Although we were there for just 20 minutes and Joshi was calm and seemingly not overstimulated, it was enough to send him into a really weird, frantic spin by the time it came to leaving. I literally could not get him into the car seat for the drive home. He was so hyped up and was bouncing all over the back seat like a wild thing. Once we got home it took a 45 minute walk with him in the ergo to settle him enough so that he could actually close his little eyes. I was quite blown away but just how spun out he was. Even though he was wrapped up against me it didn’t prevent him from being overstimulated. The visual aspect of an event like that is one thing, but I realize now more than ever how big an ask it is for a toddler to be able to handle something like that energetically. It’s also reiterated for me how important it is to create and choose harmonious environments for them, at least for the first few years. Toddlers are little human beings who are gradually adjusting to being in this world and learning how to digest it all. Although they may not seem overstimulated at the time, it’s bound to show up soon enough if they are … and when it does there’ll be no uncertainty in your mind about it then.
There were heaps of parents there with babies and toddlers. I’m curious to know how many of those little ones had a huge stress-release-cry when they got home … or even the next day, or the next couple. Did yours?