Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away! (The Playground Part I)

Ugh, B-lo, really enough with the rain already. This weekend has been spent indoors with a few runs to and from the car. All our nice plans (including cheering at a lacrosse game!) have gotten cancelled. And of course, Ms. Maddie must now stand in her window staring out at the pretty green leaves saying "Rain? Rain?"

So, since we haven't been able to take a trip to the park, I thought I would take a moment to tell about our playground adventures. We've always headed over to the park, where Maddie obsessively rides the swings. At the beginning of this season however, we added something new to our repertoire -- the slide. This actually works out doubly well for Maddie. Walk to the park, swings, long walk to the slide where there is another swing, long walk back, swings again, walk home. See there's no downside here.

Last week, we had a terrifying moment. Our playground has a baby slide (about 3 feet high) and then a great big playset with three slides. Two slides are on the same platform, and then there's a third tunneled slide about 1.5 feet down that's connected. The first day we went to the slides, Rob went with us. After trying the baby slide a few times, Maddie decided she wanted to try what the big kids went on. So I went up with her and we went down the big slides together a few times. Then I stayed at the top and Rob stayed at the bottom. Maddie was on her own and ecstatic. This was like second nature to her, and she was doing brilliantly. I've never seen such a happy little girl!

Needless to say you know where this is going right? I took Maddie back to the park on a day when Rob was working. I was pretty hesitant to do so, but I let Maddie go up to the top platform by herself and stayed at the bottom to catch her and help her up the ladder. She probably did the slide about 20 times. Easy, no problem.

Next day, same deal. Until the 21st time down the twisty slide. That's when two big girls started running around, and one of those big girls went into the tunnel slide (the one on the lower level). I was already on the ladder to get to her, but I could see Maddie's brain turning, "Oh, I can go on that tunnel slide like the big girl!" She grabbed on to the railing, and went for the huge step and of course, her little foot was way too far from the step. Interestingly Maddie has super human strength, and held onto that handle for what seemed like FOREVER. Sadly, she swung around on that railing, like it was a stripper pole, until there was nothing underneath her. And then she let go and fell about 4 feet, landing flat on her back on a metal platform.

From the very moment I saw her heading for that step, I was racing for her and every second, I was just a second behind her. She started wailing (obviously!) and I picked her up and started patting her down checking for broken bones. She just held on tight and cried for about a minute. Then she saw that big girl go by and head to the swings. She looked at me, sniffled and said, "Swings?" got down and trotted off to follow the big girl.

Thank God!

Do you believe there's not a scratch on her? Two tiny black and blue spots and that's it. Talk about lucky people. Phew...

Since then, Maddie still demands to go to the slide every day. I diligently climb up with her and go down with her every single time (exhausting!!) She's not a huge fan of that -- she's tasted freedom and has not forgotten it (though she has apparently forgotten falling). The first day that we went back, I was still in my "Bad Mom!" mindset, thinking I never should have let a two year old up on that platform alone! when I notice there's a 15 month old up there alone. I'm standing next to her father and start going up with Maddie when he laughs at me and says, "They go about 2 inches an hour, it's totally safe!"

Well, at least I'm not the only one to think so. I'm still heading up that slide 20 times a day, but hey, I know my baby is safer for it. And maybe one of these days, I'll let her taste that freedom again. Just not quite yet.

And if you made it through all of this, stay tuned because I'll have a nice light hearted playground post for you tomorrow.

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