I had a great morning with my daughter today. Every morning is good, we wake up, we play, we take my son to school, come back home and play more. Today, however, we had a playdate at a whole new adventure for her. It was a ‘bounce house’. It was at a kiddie sports play area, but they had a bouncy area. This was the first time she had to navigate such a place without her big brother to pave the way. I’d like to say she ran in and was fearless, however, she’s smarter than that. 🙂 She was more interested in kicking the soccer ball around with me. So we did this for a good half hour. She braved the smallest kiddie bouncy that had tiny slides. It was great training for her. She got herself up to the top, then slid down and was soooo proud of herself and excited! I thought we finally had lift off.
Then she walked into the towering seaweed.
The inflated seaweed tower.
The inflated seaweed tower that rebounded off her little body and whacked her right back.
After that , she was finished. No amount of coaxing, coaching, or cheering was going to get her back into that godforsaken contraption with the man-eating seaweed.
My poor little darling.
So we did another 20 minutes with the soccer balls.
After watching a few kids go up and down the BIG slide, and in and out of the jumping contraptions, i figured i had to suck it up and do it with her.
On a side note, i am not the smallest waifiest of moms. One challenge i’ve made for myself by being this stature is that navigating play areas is always a bit sticky. I think for being 5’11 and 2*(&lbs I carry myself fairly well. But i’m never sure of the rules at these places. I don’t know the weight limit on the inflatables. Sure, they are generator powered to ensure a constant inflation, but what if Rhino mom climbs to the top of the slide? ! Will it hold?! What are these poor children and parents thinking as i am climbing above them?
Come to think of it, the slide ‘stairs’ were vacant behind us… hmmm.. can’t say i blame ’em!
Anyhoo, so I took off the shoes and began my climb to the top. My daughter wanted nothing to do with it. I did it solo to show her there were no teeth hiding to chomp bodies at the top of the stairs. I called out to her, then slid down.
My daughter is a sucker for a good slide, so i had a feeling it would just take one demonstration. Thank goodness. I looked pretty silly doing this solo !
So after watching my survival to the bottom, she suddenly got a rush of courage. She jumped up and attempted, weakly, to approach the stairs with me. I ended up having to lift her up to each rung. Once at the top, she had begun to whimper and whine a bit, but then we sat at the precipice of funland. She zipped her lip and squealed with delight the whole way down.
I felt triumphant! I introduced her to a whole new world of fun!
“One more time, please, mommy!”
So up we climbed , each time she was more and more brave until finally after the third climb she did it all by herself. 🙂 She managed to talk me into a total of five trips up that stairway and down the slide.
Covered in grime and sock sweat, to preserve my own heartbeat, i had to find another outlet for her new adventurous side.
Into the bouncy castle we went.
Yes, we. I waited until it was empty to go in. She wouldn’t go in unless i was already in so as i was waiting for her to climb in and through the kiddie door net, a bigger girl followed her in. After my brave girl got her footing, i stood up and gently fake-bounced so she could get the hang of it. Pretty soon we were both squealing with delight as i bounced higher, causing her to rocket more vertical each time. Then I threw all caution to the wind and landed on my rear end. She thought that was hilarious and demanded ‘again’ about three more times.
2 hours later, sweaty and proud of ourselves, we put our shoes back on and walked out to the van with heads held high and grins slapped on our faces.
What a fantastic mommy moment for me! I love that kid so much, and it was really amazing to enjoy such a cool ‘first’ being able to focus singly on her, and not just let my son help her through another experience because it’s easier.