Today, the boy, myself, my SIL and her two little ones headed off to Ikea for a shopping trip. Since my SIL is on mat. leave (her newest addition is not yet 2 months old), we decided to make an outing of it during the week when the store would be less busy.
Ikea has this great supervised play area with a ball pit (babies love the ball pit), colouring tables, and more, that you can leave your little one for an hour while you get some shopping done without constant interruptions, or small nosey people checking out everything you're putting in your cart. The boy & I talked about leaving him there, and he seemed game to go for it, and so, slightly nervous, I went over, signed in him, got my pager in case they needed me urgently, and watched him go. It's not the first time he's been left anywhere, he goes on his own to the nursery class at our church, and he attends a little play group once a week by himself, but this was the first time he'd been left with people and kids he didn't know, and he didn't bat an eyelash.
He took off straight to the ball pit, and immediately started playing with another little boy that was there. It was incredible for me to watch. My little boy all grown up and content to go off on his own and make friends and play. I managed to get all the things I needed at Ikea, and apparently, the boy found some independence there too. Now if only they carried something to stop me worrying about him!