Monday was a randomly sunny, warm day amidst a week (plus?) of cold, dreary rain. Thankfully Mondays are also my day off, so Owen and I grabbed the dog and headed to our favorite playground to enjoy the sun in the afternoon.
As I’ve been discussing Owen’s kinesthetic learning style and need for, uhh, constant physical activity this week, I thought it would be appropriate to show you how he plays on the playground. Bouncing from one thing to the next until he starts right back up again. He never stays in the same spot for more than a minute or two and never stays still for more than a second. But that’s what playgrounds are for, no? No sitting for Mommy, either, because of course his favorite playground is for bigger kids and has all kinds of dangerous drops and spots with no railings.
I love watching him explore and following him (not too closely!) to see what he chooses to do. The only downside is that when we meet friends at the playground (aka my mom friends), I never get a chance to talk to them!
Swings. (No baby swings on this playground, just this one random plastic swing that is missing a seatbelt. Which he ADORES despite face-planting out of it twice because he wanted to get out and just jumped instead of asking for help. Sigh.)
Running around in the field next to the playground. Found a far away picnic table, hopped up and took a water break. First break all day!
Trash can. Who knew opening and closing the trash can would be SO. MUCH. FUN?)
Not pictured: Climbing up the stairs, running across the wiggly bridge, sliding down a tube, climbing up a “rock” staircase, zooming down each slide at least 3 or 4 times in a row, pretending to “drive” using a pretend steering wheel, spinning the tic-tac-toe squares, exploring the bushes and trees on the outer edges of the playground, breaking up a basketball game to grab the ball, learning how to dribble a basketball from a big boy.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
On Monday he found a new obsession on the playground as well. The climbing wall.
He begged me to help him climb it. At first I responded with a quick, “Sorry, buddy. That’s for bigger kids.” But he wasn’t going to take no for an answer. The kid is an incredible climber, so I decided to let him try it with some assistance. I showed him how to use his hands and feet on the holds to climb up. He quickly dropped his sippy cup to the ground and stretched his little body out, trying to reach from one hold to the next.
Before I knew it I was supporting his butt to make sure he wouldn’t fall off while he wrestled his way up the wall. As I helped him, he got higher and higher. Soon he was over my head. He got the hang of it so well that I was on my tippy toes grasping for his shoes.
He actually got to the very top. As in, his little hands reached over the top of the wall. There is no platform on top, but kids can climb over the top and climb back down the other side. All at once I felt the blood drain from my face when I realized I wasn’t holding him at all and he didn’t know what to do when he got to the top. For some reason I didn’t think to climb the wall myself to get him (in hindsight, big DUH!), so I jumped up in the air and grabbed his legs and pulled him down. He fell hard against my chest and started giggling and laughing. That was the most fun he had had all day. Little daredevil.
I literally almost thought that I had lost him to the great climbing wall in the sky.
I hesitated even telling Benjamin about our little escapade. Benjamin is much more cautious on playgrounds than I am — I am much more of the “he has to learn somehow” mentality and I let him climb and fall and go down the big slides. Of course I watch him and keep him safe, but I want him to learn how to conquer these things on his own and be self-sufficient.
But, you know, not so self-sufficient as climbing over a climbing wall before he’s 2 years old. That’s a milestone I think we should wait on.