The Evolution of Park-Going

It’s officially the end of an era. I used to take the girls to the little baby park in our neighborhood every day, sometimes multiple times a day in order to get out of the house. Besides going for walks in the stroller, the little park is the only place I feel comfortable taking the girls solo because it’s close to home (in case they melt down), and there’s usually no one there.

Here’s a little blast from the not-so-distant past.

I used to be able to put the girls down on a blanket and they would just sit there. 

                                                              Where have the days gone? 

Then, the girls started crawling, but they would only venture to the edge of the blanket most of the time. 

                                 

      

                             

Later, when the girls started standing up, we explored the actual play structure more. The girls were  pretty good about staying near me and not crawling off to explore/put who-knows-what disgusting objects in their mouths, and instead were pretty content to stand up by the slide, hit the slide, or pull themselves up on the bars. 

                      

So, my point is that going to the park USED TO BE no big deal. Last week, I took the girls to the park, as usual, and instead of waiting patiently at the bottom of the slide, keeping herself busy while I helped Amelia slide down, Samantha crawled off across the sandbox, over the cement lip and onto the sidewalk to pet Bandit, who, tied to the park bench, was frantically trying to escape the enormous bald puppy barreling toward him, giggling madly. I put Amelia down in the sand at the bottom of the slide while I ran and saved Bandit from whatever torture Samantha was going to inflict on him.

 I obviously don’t have pictures of these events as they occurred because I was chasing after babies. If I did have pictures, you should probably call CPS on me. 

                 

By the time I arrived back at the slide with Samantha, Amelia had crawled over the double slide and was under the play structure, stuffing leaves, sticks and whatever else she could find in her mouth. All of this occurred in about 30 seconds.

                  

I managed to crawl under the equipment myself, grab Amelia and took both girls to sit down in the sand to try out the sand toys Grandma bought us (apparently, sand toys are “seasonal items” here in CA, and I haven’t been able to find any this winter. Luckily, Grandma found some sand toys at the D.I. in Utah, of all places).

Babies love filling up pails of sand…or so I’ve heard. Samantha and Amelia took one look at the shovel I used to scoop sand into their bucket and thought, “YES! A FASTER WAY TO SCOOP SAND INTO OUR MOUTHS. GENIUS!” They then started fighting over said shovel for the reasons previously mentioned. The sand rake didn’t help much either because the girls would suck on it until it was wet with slobber and stick it in the sand, thereby allowing more sand to stick to it and end up in their mouths.

Washing all that sand down with a nice swig of water. Mmmmmmm. 

The coup de gras came as both girls started crawling off in opposite directions without warning. I had to make a split-second decision and decided to go after Amelia first, since she was heading under the play structure for more sticks. After grabbing her, I dashed over to Samantha, who had, predictably, crawled up the cement lip around the sandbox again and was pulling herself up on the park bench.

After neutralizing Amelia by placing her haphazardly in the stroller, I picked up Samantha, who I immediately discerned had something disgusting in her mouth as she was munching and giving me a big grin. I did a sweep and to my horror, pulled out half of a cigarette butt. A CIGARETTE BUTT. I nearly died. Cue major freak out from me and funny stares from the gardener dude who trims the grass in our neighborhood. Trying to keep myself from vomiting, I rushed home with both girls, washed both of their mouths out and gave them baths, for good measure.

NEVER AGAIN.

I will either need to A. find a friend who doesn’t have kids/nothing better to do than accompany us to the park B. Relegate the girls to the baby swings or C. Keep one of the girls in the stroller while playing with the other one and then switch…at least until the girls stop putting everything known to man in their mouths. FOR GOODNESS SAKES, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, BABIES?

I opted for option C today and it worked out much better, although this method definitely decreased our time spent at the park as the baby in the stroller got restless.

Amelia’s turn at the park today. 

                  

Samantha watched despondently from the stroller awaiting her turn.

                   

So that’s why I will not be going to the park alone again anytime soon.

P.S.  Not to brag or anything, but it’s been 80+ degrees  all week and despite my efforts to hold out, we have actually had the air conditioning on the past few days. The Santa Ana winds are in full force as well, which means lots of hot wind, dust, and chapped lips. Considering what’s going on in other parts of the country right now, I’ll take it.

Bwahahaha.

                            
Lots of love,

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