Happy Memorial Day!(& Playground Observations)

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

I hope your holiday weekends have been full of sun and hot dogs and fun.

We’ve been having a decidedly low key weekend. R has been working, and we literally did not leave the house Saturday or Sunday. Mostly, because as I’ve mentioned on here before, I am a big old chicken when it comes to solo outings with both kiddos. And I become even more of a chicken when it’s a holiday weekend, and I know everywhere we could go would be crazy crowded.

So instead we’ve hung out here, watched a bunch of movies, and I’ve attempted to get some of my freelance work done (as well as any attempt at anything remotely productive goes when there’s a 2-year-old in the house). We’ve also gone on lots of walks around the neighborhood and spent a lot of time in the backyard and on the front porch. Ryland even got a little painting in, which she clearly enjoyed.

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This morning though, I reached that point of “if I stay in this house for one more minute with these children I am going to totally lose it.” And so after about an hour of getting the kids ready and diaper bag packing (Seriously, why does this process always take so long? I should have it down to an exact science by now!), out we went!

I briefly considered heading to a splash pad, but then started thinking about logistics (that’s always how I talk myself of outings, those darn logistics, and my stupid over-analytical, detail-oriented brain). I also very briefly thought about the pool we joined (which just opened this weekend!), but then quickly talked myself out of that with thoughts of Ryland cannon-balling into the pool and me having to jump in to save her with Bobby strapped to my chest.

So finally, I debated between my two easy places (the spots I feel pretty comfortable going with both kids solo), either the Children’s Museum or a nearby park/playground we love. Since the weather was nice, playground it was (and if the preceding two paragraphs make you realize for the first time that I’m a crazy person, clearly we have never met).

While we were at the playground, I did make a few observations:

  • I’ve finally nailed the best way to have both kids at the playground. No stroller. Bobby in a carrier. Diaper bag backpack on my back. This way I have full mobility to chase after Ryland (she’s a runner). Bobby is content and usually passes out. I have all the snacks, drinks, and supplies we need within arms reach but since they’re in a backpack, I don’t have to stash it somewhere or lug it around. It’s perfect. I can even lift Ryland in and out of swings or pick her up and carry or if I really need to (although lifting a 33 lb toddler with an 18 lb baby strapped to me, and a full backpack is….fun.)
  • My child is special. So I know all toddlers are from time to time, wild, hyperactive hell-beasts. I know they all have their moments. But Ryland, God love her, is a step above the norm. I noticed this for the first time when I took her to a music class, and while the rest of the 15 or so toddlers mostly stayed in one place and wiggled and jumped near their mothers’ legs, my child careened around to every corner of the auditorium and danced in wide circles like a one-woman conga line. I also notice when I take her to places like the playground, she DOES NOT STOP. She is a crazy kinetic pixie who runs from thing to thing, always in motion. While the other children stay more or less to the general playground area, my child sprints off into the woods, or to a giant muddy puddle by the restroom (I blame Peppa Pig and their porcine insistence on splashing in puddles for this), or off to the soccer fields, or toward the parking lot. She runs straight into the path of swingers (like kids on swings, not keys in bowl swingers, just to be clear). She throws herself down slides and hurdles up rock climbing walls meant for kids twice her age. She finds the one area where there is mud (we could have a historic drought and go without rain for months and my kid would still somehow find the mud). Now before you suggest she has some sort of ADHD type issue, I will point out that this is the same child who will watch a 90-minute movie with barely a blink of her eyes. So clearly that’s not the problem. She’s just really into everything, into life, and I love her for that. But it’s also why I sometimes feel terrified to take her and Bobby anywhere solo. There is a legitimate chance she will just take off, Forest Gump style, and I will not be able to keep up. So I have to really work up some nerve before I unleash her on the public. And I typically end these outings a sweaty, exhausted mess.
  • suck at making playground friends. I’ve been a mom for more than 2 years, and I have yet to make a single, stinking playground friend (I talk to people on the playground, I’m not an antisocial weirdo, I just mean someone who I exchange numbers with and meet for future playdates). I came so close today you guys. There was another mom there with older kids and a baby in the carrier. We said hi. We talked about how old our kids were and laughed about the struggle of the baby carrier. I even overheard her talk to another mom about being a nurse. I had an IN! And just as I was about to tell her I was also a nurse, Ryland took to the woods (literally, maybe she’s been reading Thoreau at preschool), and I had to go make sure she didn’t take a mud bath or eat poison ivy. I tried a couple times after that to smile and make eye contact, but the moment was over. Are any moms out there who struggle with this? I see people bond and exchange numbers, and I just feel like a big old loser. I think I’m bad at this for the same reason I was really bad at flirting with guys at bars (before I met my husband!). I just have no game, whether romantic or friendship. Thank goodness I have friends from childhood and college who are pretty much stuck with me, because otherwise, I’d be a big old hermit.  They really need to come up with an online matchmaking system for making new mom friends, because I think that’s my only shot.

Okay well, those are super random, but such is the nature of the thoughts that flash through your head when you’re pushing your child on a swing for 20 minutes.

I’m off to go finish a Magnolia Table cookbook pie (will post about it later) that I’m bringing to my parents for Memorial Day celebrations after naptime. I hope you all get to eat some yummy food, play in the sun,  eat a big old hunk of watermelon, and spend some time with the ones you love today!

 

 

 

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