There’s a small “park” next to the Publix we shop at. It has a nice covered picnic area, some outdoor exercise equipment, a big open field, and one small play structure with one tallish curly slide. We go there a lot. It’s an easy park to play at because there’s shade, space, and non-lethal play equipment. It is the first slide NikkiZ did by herself – and as of this weekend? The first slide AndyZ did alone.
Giving a child freedom on a play structure is a very hard thing to do. They always have openings that lead to poles to slide down, or ladders that are not suitable for small children. However, no child wants their parent going down the slide with them once they feel brave enough to do it alone. After one or two nail-biting moments (for me) AndyZ got the hang of doing the entire journey, from steps to slide, by himself. I stood near the one dangerous opening – either on top or at the bottom – just in case he decided to try to escape that way. But for the most part? I just watched and took pictures of my big boy. With his new big boy haircut. And his big boy shoes. And – OH MY GOD, WHERE IS MY BABY?
Repeat this cycle of photos 19 million times and you have our park outing Friday afternoon. Loads of fun even if it was a bit repetitive. NikkiZ thinks the play structure is a bit boring but she loves the outdoor exercise equipment. At one point she said, “Mom. This is way more fun than home.”
I know, kid. I know.