Yesterday I promised Nick that when Madeline finished her afternoon nap, we would go to the park. She usually wakes up around 5 pm, just as I’m finishing work, so I figured we could get some playtime in before dinner. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans and all that… She woke up around 6:45 pm. It would have been so easy, too easy, to just push it off to another day, but a promise is a promise. We headed off to the park, and I decided we’d just have a quick dinner when we got back. I mean, if you can’t stay late at the park, have a late dinner and rearrange everything in the summer, when can you, right?
Madeline hasn’t been to this park before. As soon as I put her down on the ground, she starts making a quacking noise, pointing to ducks in the corner. Steel ducks on a concrete spinning thing. Wonderful. My little daredevil Evil Knievel wants to ride around on a steel thing that is attached to a concrete thing. With no seatbelts. And doesn’t want me to hold her. It’s enough to give me a heart attack. Visions of things not pretty popped into my head as she went around… breathe… breathe … I spun it as slow as I could, riding that fine line between slow enough so I wouldn’t stress, but not so slow that she’d fuss for it to go faster. Luckily after the fourth or fifth go-’round, she spotted the slide and wanted to explore something different. Phew!
Nick tried to hold her hand going up the few staggered steps to the slide. “No, no, no,” she said in a sing-song voice as she wagged her little finger at him. I tried to get a picture of her finger wagging – it’s just too cute – but she moves too fast. She hates having help and always wants to do everything herself, stubborn little thing. She let me hold her hand for the first step and wanted no part of it after that.
After she got the hang of the slide, she went up the steps faster and faster, racing to get to the top, just to go down again. She went down on her belly. She went down head first. She went down sideways. She went down with Nick gently pulling her foot, making her go faster. This one has no fear at all.
When Nick started working on the monkey bars, she tried to climb the steps to join him. And then the see-saw. And repeat. Over and over again. She was having so much fun, getting silly, and running all lopsided with her giddiness. I’m surprised she didn’t fuss when we left an hour later, but think it might have just worn her out.
Seeing how much fun they were having, it almost makes me sad that summer is quickly winding down, but also makes me determined to enjoy every last second of what’s left of it. Besides, there’s a whole ton of fun awaiting us with the next season too.