Going to the park with Joy is a mixed bag these days. On the one hand, she's mighty stimmy on the gravel or woodchips or whatever. Handfuls go flying into the air at random times (one of those less-than-a-good-example kinds of things when other kids are around), or into the mouth. Bleah.
On the other hand, she is doing great things on the play structures. The other day I had her at the school playground, on equipment that had three different kinds of ladders (petal-grid, spiral, ordinary). It was such a treat to watch her think and plan as she made her way up the petal-grid and the spiral! The wheels were turning and she was making the most of it.
Then she saw the big-kid swings, way down the hill and across the grass.
WHOOSH. She was on her way.
When I caught up with her, she was trying to get into a swing. These are higher up than our usual park, though, and she couldn't quite make it. So she came over to me, grabbed my hands, put them under her arms. Pick me up, Mama. Put me in the swing. I was so happy to help!
Joy has done so well lately staying in the swing and holding on for high pushes, and not trying to get off until the swing is nearly stopped. So I gave her the big-kid treatment, with the great big running-underneath pushes (do you call those underducks? or underdogs?) Anyway. She grinned so big I thought her face was gonna split in two.
Meanwhile, Rose was clamoring for the big pushes too. I think they picked swings at the opposite end of the set on purpose to give Mama a workout...
Joy's use of the hand-pulling request has blossomed lately. To the buckles on her booster chair (unbuckle me, Mama, I want to get down!) To the TV/video-player (Baby Einstein, please, Mama!) To the door handle (play outside? Now?) To her own underarms (I'm tired of walking, pick me up!)
The flip side here is that when I have to refuse (sorry sweetie, we can't start a video, the therapist is coming in five minutes!) she is declaring her unhappiness in no uncertain terms. The fuss can persist long after the initial offense. I should be celebrating this, I guess, right? As in, it's not normal for a kid to give up so quickly and nonchalantly as she's generally done in the past. Oh bliss, oh Joy, she's discovered her inner two year old! Hurray, and a big deep sigh.
One final vignette for this post.
Yesterday afternoon Joy was hanging out in the living room, watching a video (yes, Baby Einstein, what else?) and I was lounging on the couch with a book. Suddenly she went over to the quilt that stays in the room, that her baristas use for blanket-pulls and swinging and such. Her 6-ft-7 barista-dude has been trying to teach her to help spread the quilt out a little bit -- he's the only one that can give her the full swinging treatment all by himself! Well, she took the quilt and made spreading motions and got it laid out a little bit on the floor. Then she came over, took my hand, pulled me from the couch. And then she sat down on that blanket.
Look Mama, I've done the planning & prep work. Swing me now!!
I called JoyDad over, and together we swung her high, to the accompaniment of that dazzling grin.