Today, Sophie woke up in a mood after a fitful night of sleep (teething?). This never bodes well, so I made immediate plans to get the heck out of dodge (also know as: GET OUT OF HOUSE!). Anything to distract and tire her out.
So, after her (cranky) breakfast I got myself ready. (Pony tail, headband, mascara, hot pink shorts, white/silver/pink Reebok easytones, pink ankle socks, maternity tee with "baby" written in many languages) Then Sophie got dressed in teal shorts from Gymboree (size 18-24 months which means good for the height but huge in the waist, hence all the photos of her possibly losing her pants), her bird tee (from a youtube viewer... Thank you, Courtney from Peru... she loves the shirt STILL!), a blue clippie, ankle socks, and hot pink sparkly shoes that she hasn't quite grown into. Then I loaded her up into the jogging stroller along with water (for me), sippy cup, crackers, camera, phone, a blanket, and her bunny. I clipped on my awesome pedometer and we were off.
We left through the backyard b/c we have a green belt behind us that has a nice path that leads straight to one of our neighborhood parks and a walking trail. I haven't taken her on a walk outside in forever b/c the weather has been stupid, plus there is no way I would take her out on my 3-6 mile cardio walks. She would go nuts. Anyway... it was nice.
We got to the "field" - I really don't know what to call it- which consists of covered picnic areas, a covered playground (for older kids), a rock climbing area, a baseball diamond, soccer and football fields, bleachers, and a walking trail circling it all. Yup, our homeowner fees are high, but the neighborhood is AMAZING.
We made our way to the
I am not kidding you guys when I say I had to throw down my camera and go with her and I was scared for our well being. She went across this windy slide thing that went ACROSS and not down and I literally held my breath. It was torture. We made it across. Sophie attempted to go backwards off the side of something that was over 5ft up. I pulled her back. She screamed and started crying. I jumped down by swinging off this monkey bar thing (totally awesome and not at all stupid move for someone almost halfway through their pregnancy right? *sarcasm*) and then pulled her to safety. The ground. Stupid deathtrap.
Needless to say, we won't be going there for a few years.
So, of course, Sophie threw a fit and I kept pleading "but we'll go to the other park!". I got her into the jogger and gave her a peace offering: cheese crackers. It worked. We were off to the OTHER park in our neighborhood. The nicer, lower to the ground, younger one.
We got there and made friends with some other moms. Sophie was so sensitive. Everything was making her whine. *sigh* Way to make a first impression, Phie. She's teething and didn't get much sleep I tried to explain apologetically. They understood.
After awhile, it was just her and I and I started thinking about trust. Trusting Sophie to walk around on her own, trusting her to tackle the park stairs and higher up playground equipment without hovering over her, trusting her to go down the slide without me squished in with her. Just trusting her.
Obviously, certain situations still demand constant hovering (like the first Death Park) but there are certain times when I can let her go on her own a bit (like this younger designed park).
So, I let her climb the stairs and I stayed below. I watched her walk across the jungle gym and I didn't dash up to guard her very existence. And the biggest bit of trust happened at the slides. Sophie tends to dig her feet in when she slides down, thus propelling herself to flip headfirst on her way down. The slide terrifies me. I watch anxiously, hands held up ready to pluck her from the descending plastic. She walked to the slide and promptly turned around, got on her belly, and went down that way, safely. Her grin was HUGE. (So was my relief.)
This play continued on. We had a few tumbles. She slipped trying to climb up the slides backwards but was fine. She did manage to take off her shoes and then slip on one curvy slide before she had a chance to position herself, but I was right there to help and all was well. She isn't at the point where I can just let her go completely on her own. I still need to be right there just in case, but she is getting there. And so am I.
Exploring... on her own.