Way back at the end of the summer, I promised the girls I would take them to a specific park here in town. In fact, we had a day planned for it but when we arrived, I was reminded that we were smack in the middle of graduation season and the park was filled with graduation parties.
Now, I’m not afraid to go to a park where there’s a party going on but on this day, there just wasn’t even room to park, let alone play. And let me remind you that my girls have way more fun at parks, the lake, just about anywhere if they’re either the only ones around or if they’re the first ones there so they can kind of stake their claim, so to speak.
Last Saturday was on the cool side and I decided it was actually the perfect day for the park. I told the girls to dress in pants and short sleeved shirts and we took jackets with us.
When we arrived at the park, there was only one car in the parking lot but it was obvious that the owner of that car was setting up the pavilion for a party.
Oh well, families can reserve the pavilion but they can’t actually keep others out of the park, so we forged ahead with our plans to play and run and climb and slide.
Each time we go to a park, if it’s been awhile, Olivia needs to be reminded that she’s been there, she’s capable of climbing and sliding all by herself. On this day, she very much wanted as much help as Lyss and I would give her. She wanted me on the ground and Lyss at the top of the stand-alone slide. O would climb the ladder to a specific point and then want me to push her up by the butt while A pulled her by the arms. Then before she’d slide down, she wanted me at the bottom to catch her. Ha! That kid is so funny. I kept reminding her that the slide is barely longer than she is, she’d be fine even if I weren’t at the bottom to keep her feet from touching the ground too quickly.
She didn’t want to hear it. So, because I’m THAT mom, I helped her climb the ladder, I stood at the bottom of the slide and I climbed the other play structures with her.
Upon arrival at the park, we saw that there was a mom/grandma type with a baby (the child was all of eighteen months old, so yes, baby) who was walking around, climbing up the play areas, swinging, etc. The mom/grandma was on the phone this entire time.
There was also a five year old boy and another eighteen month old baby running around. I didn’t know if the mom/grandma was with all three kids or not but as I played with my own kids, I noticed that one of the babies had climbed to the very top of the structure. Alyssa was already up there and so I made my way up and asked Lyss to stand by one of the openings that would have led to a ten foot fall if that baby happened to trip. I took up sentry at one of the other openings.
As the baby made her way up the stairs that led to a spiral slide, I asked the five year old if she (the baby) was big enough to go down that slide. He assured me she was. I asked it loudly enough that the woman on the phone could hear me, just in case she was in charge of this baby.
When the baby started down the slide, head first, I heard someone shout from the pavilion, which was at least fifty feet away from the play area.
She called up to the boy, yelling that the baby was too little to go down that slide.
My thought was, “That boy is too little to be left to watch that baby.”
I kept my mouth shut though and judged her in silence. I’ll give her a little credit. She stuck around after that, keeping an eye on the baby herself instead of expecting her five year old to do it.
We ended up staying at the park for close to an hour. Liv got over most of her wieniness and had a blast. Lyss enjoyed my muttered snark at the lady who never, not once, got off the phone while her baby/grandbaby played around the park.
It was a nice way to say goodbye to summer and welcome fall. And admittedly, any time I can feel superior to other parents is a good one (for me.) Yeah, I’m kind of joking there. Almost…