I took my three youngest to the park yesterday after Kindergarten. It was a beautiful day for playing at the park. The older two have been to the park a lot in their lifetimes, but the baby has only ever been a passive participant on park trips – until yesterday. I believe this was the first time I just let her go and explore the park and its challenges, toys, and features. And I discovered she’s a little dare devil.
My preschooler and Kindergartner took to the old-time merry-go-round like it was the best toy ever. And, broken bones aside, the merry-go-round was always my favorite park feature too. I was surprised to see that, after a few minutes of tasting the clover and the grass, the baby wanted to get on the merry-go-round.
I had our Kindergartener sit in the middle of the merry-go-round, with pretzel legs, and hold the baby on his lap. I slowly turned the merry-go-round and the baby laughed and giggled. Then she crawled off of her brother’s lap and sat by herself. Again, I was controlling the speed, but we went a little faster. She still thought it was the best ride in town. Her affection for the merry-go-round shows she has a streak of a dare devil in her.
After we got bored of the merry-go-round (read Mom was tired of pushing), we moved onto the big toy equipment. My Kindergartner enjoyed the monkey bars, while my preschooler loved the slides. My baby was a fan of crawling up the slides, but she wasn’t too sure about the platforms. She would try to crawl up the slides, get about half way there, and then slide to the bottom. She thought it was fantastic. One time she slid all the way off, and giggled the whole time. What a little dare devil!
However, she showed some caution around the playground equipment platforms and stairs. The playground equipment platforms and stairs were made with holes to let the dirt and water drain off of them. My baby did not think the surface was structurally sound, and wouldn’t crawl on them for anything. Maybe she’s not as much of a dare devil as I thought?
Yet, on the swings, the dare devil inside the baby came out in full force. I couldn’t push her high enough to satisfy her desires. She was giggling, clapping, and laughing the higher I pushed her. I had all three kids in swings. The Kindergartener only needed the occasional push; he’d learned how to pump on the swings last summer. My preschooler needed repeated pushing and coaching. I’ve been trying to teach her how to pump for almost a year. I finally was able to make some head way with the pumping idea when I told her to kick my hand, and then kick her bum. She thought that was all sorts of fun, and was able to pump successfully by the end of the visit.
It was an enjoyable excursion to the park and one we plan to repeat as long as the weather holds out. By December we may have to find a new outing . . . I’m thinking sledding. I’m sure the baby will be up for it.