Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Playgounds and playgroups

         Earlier this week Steve and I took George to a little park down the street from our house. She and I had gone on our own a couple of times before but it's hard to do certain things with her being so little and me being on my own. Having Steve there meant that I could send Georgie down the small slide on her own and Steve would be there to catch her.

        It was awesome! The first time I sent her down she wasn't really expecting what was going to happen and fell over, riding most of the way on her back. The second time she was a bit more prepared and managed to sit up the whole way down. By the third time she was wiggling out of my arms before her dad could get back to the bottom. She was going down that slide like she was born to do it, and loved every minute of it!

        George also rode on the little dinosaur bouncer, and climbed up on and around the equipment. The floors were mostly made of perforated metal and the ground was all pea gravel, which became a bit of a problem. George didn't particularly like climbing on the gravel, but because the floors were covered in tiny holes the gravel would get stuck all over the place. So when we plunked Georgie down in front of the steps we were expecting her to scamper off at full speed.  Instead she got a little OCD on us. She stood at the bottom step and systematically tried to remove all the rocks from the next platform. At first trying to just wipe everything away, but being that the gravel continued to get stuck George resorted to picking up and tossing each rock individually. Thankfully after a while we managed to convince her to come play, although she would occasionally get distracted and go right back to picking and sorting rocks.

        A couple of days later George and I decided to venture out in another direction from our house, to go searching for a park I had spotted while out driving. Not even two blocks from our house we spot yet another park. Seriously, I think there are at least five playgrounds within walking distance of the house, it's kind great. We decided to stop at this park, it's littler than the one we were headed to, and I think, had more things George could actually do.

      It was a nice little playground on the far side of a schools grounds. It had baby swings and a variety of slides as well as a lot of climbing stairs. We started at the swings but got bored with that very quickly so we moved onto the mail structure. George had a bit of a repeat performance with the rocks but gave up quickly when she noticed me climbing higher and higher.

      George has no fear when it comes to climbing, shes been climbing up on the back of the couch since before she could crawl, and once scaled the side of a booth at the keg. She tried to go right up and over. This apparently also translates to no fear of ramps and slides, she rode in front of me down a couple of the big slides then did the smaller one on her own a few times. I just set her at the top and she waits for me to get to the bottom before wiggling her but onto the slide and zipping down. But of course the love of climbing combined with the love of the slide and having no fear, means I was soon chasing George down as she attempted to climb back up the slide.

          She had gotten about halfway up before loosing her grip and cracking her head on the side. She was hurt and she cried, but being that it didn't last all that long I figured she was fine. I loaded her up and headed home. By the time we got there, the poor kid had a big 'ole goose egg in the middle of her forehead as well as a nice purple bruise. Ooops. And in accordance to Murphy's  law, she has bonked her head twice more since then. Once on the grocery cart and once on the back of the couch. I fear for her brain.

        Her little accident doesn't seem to have phased her much though, as we went to playgroup today down at the Lethbridge family center. It has indoor play equipment for toddlers and bigger kids, as well as lots of play stations, including a sand table, a water table, art stations and dress up clothes. George and I were the first there and she bolted right for that little playground and its slide. she was up and down and all over that thing with barely a look to me. It was awesome!

     It turned out to be pretty busy there today, it's the drop in playgroup so it's always a bit random as to who or how many people will be there. It was great for Georgie, she's a little social butterfly, although she is at that age where she'll just take anything from anyone, but most of the other kids are at that age as well, and there's so much going on that no one is really upset when something is snatched from them.

      George was very brave today and explored other areas other than just the toddler section. We played at the sand table for a bit, which turned out to be rather stressful. Because A) her hands were getting dirty (Never a problem before) and B) it was full of trucks and toys. Apparently the toys shouldn't get dirty either. We didn't play with the sand for long. George did however play house with a two year old for a good chunk of time. And by play house I mean followed her around and mimicked everything she did, then took all her toys and handed them to me.

     All in all it was a good day. The only real problem is George is easily the smallest kid there, although not the youngest. She's so tiny that she get bowled over by the other kids. Seriously I saw a couple of little boys crawl over her. She didn't freak out though, just turned and chased them down, because obviously whatever they were doing it must have been good. She really seems to enjoy hanging with the other kiddos. The family center is closed next week and we'll be away. But I hope to start going more often, maybe I'll even make some friends!

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