I keep thinking back to last summer and how different things are now. Even going to the playground is a totally different experience. Last year I had to trail her at least within reaching distance to keep her from stealing toys, squashing sand castles and getting into all sorts of trouble. Now she still wants to go to the playground in the stroller, and she uses is as a kind of home base. Once she’s out of the stroller, she wants to do her own thing, she does not want me to follow her. I get to sit on a bench! She actually pushes me onto the bench to sit. I’ll admit that I can’t help myself and I usually stand, poised and ready to pounce if necessary.
There is a table with two benches under the slides at our usual playground. On several different occasions I’ve caught her sitting on one of the benches across from another child (usually a boy) and they are smiling at each other. And they are really looking at each other, not the boy smiling at R and she’s smiling at the table or something. One time the boy’s Mom came along and asked him if he had found a girlfriend. Funny how that one comment helps blur all the nasty ones.
R. has been wanting to bring her stuffed Elmo and other Sesame Street friends with her everywhere. I insist only two can come with us, and she runs around the playground with whichever two made the cut that day. I think it looks kind of weird actually, but it makes her happy and she is actually playing with them. The odd thing is that it doesn’t seem like the other kids think it is weird, it almost seems to make them respond better. I hope I’m not in for a battle when she goes back to school.
I got E. to take R. to the playground on his own last weekend. He’s been reluctant to do so for quite a while. I’ve been talking up what a different experience it is, and I honestly demanded he take her for at least 20 minutes so I could run the vacuum. They were there over an hour and they both returned in marvelous moods.