Today was one of the first honest-to-goodness, feels like SPRING days we've had this year, so after collecting Kiddo from the bus stop after school, I threw her in the car and we took off for one of our favorite playgrounds.
You can tell Kiddo wasn't excited at all to be out in the sun and fresh air at the playground:
This picture cracked me up because it looks like she was posing, but it was completely candid:
I thought this shot came out kinda cool, the way only her face is in sharp focus and the rest is blurred by motion (we were bouncing on the see-saw at the time. Yes, *I* was on the other end. This seesaw has an industrial-strength spring and also is made of construction-grade metal girder-esque pieces. It can take my considerable bulk without a whimper!)
As always, I caught a shot of Kiddo completing her first slide run of the year...
Now, this park actually has two separate playground areas. The shots above were from the "younger kids" playground, and the ones below are from the "bigger kids" playground. Kiddo has played on the "bigger kids" playground for a couple of years now, with me growing slightly less nervous about a major disaster with each passing year. You see, the "bigger kids" playground has many more bits that seem like a surefire way to blacken an eye, skin a knee or two and possibly knock out a few of the burgeoning adult teeth as well. I tend to be a bit overly cautious about "spotting" Kiddo on such equipment, between her previous gross motor delays and her klutziness inherent to her SPD (her sense of where her body is in relation to space and everything around it is messed up; fortunately this has gotten better over the years thanks to her OT - there was a time when she couldn't even walk through a doorway without slamming into the edge of it, I kid you not), and a general neurosis about my one and only, precious daughter killing herself in a freak playground accident, well, let's just say I tend to be a bit more hover-y than the average playground parent.
This year, I watched from a greater distance than usual, trying to keep my heart down in my chest and not entirely in my throat as Kiddo dashed about the "bigger kids" play area. I did okay when she was over on this:
and didn't feel the same compulsion to keep a hand on/under her while she scaled this:
and I even stayed well out of "catching" distance while she successfully ran on top of this for the first time in her life -
Now, all of those are spots where I previously would've definitely kept myself within catching/spotting distance in the past. I just do not tend to relax when Kiddo is in a spot where there is such added potential for injury. But, like I said, I'm trying not to be such a helicopter mom and I was trying to back off a bit. By the time Kiddo had worked her way over to the swings, my heart was fully back in my chest and I was mentally patting myself on the back for not hovering and Kiddo surviving anyhow.
Of course the exact moment I relaxed completely, thinking what could happen to Kiddo on the swings? - I mean, she has swings at school and goes on them all the time - she went from this:
to a full-on face-plant right into the mulch. She overbalanced, grabbed at the swing and thusly didn't even have her hands out to protect her. Of course *I* was standing a good 4 feet away, out of swinging feet reach, so I couldn't even dive to save her.
And thus, the first Major Playground Fiasco of the year occurred approximately 36 minutes after Kiddo first set foot on the playground. I was picking her up before she even began crying. Her face was FULL of mulch - mouth, nose, ears, hair. Thank goodness she wears glasses now, because I cringe to think what might've happened to her eyes otherwise. She was dirty, covered in mulch slivers and bleeding, but stayed remarkably calm for one who typically busts out her best mini-diva when injury occurs in public. (And we had an audience, too - the park was pretty crowded for a weekday afternoon, including one threeish year old boy who stood six inches away from us as I was trying to dust off the mulch, rinse out Kiddo's mouth and assess the bleeding and damage levels and repeatedly yelled "WHY IS YOUR KID CRYING?" to me. Even Kiddo gave him a "WTF?!" look through her mulchy tears, I mean, it seemed it should be fairly obvious, even to a 3 year old...) We headed back to the car for a more thorough round of first aid (I keep a well-stocked first aid kit in the van for just such a scenario) and then decided to head home where we could get some ice on her rapidly swelling lips and nose.
Oh yes, the damage level was pretty darn good. Two fat lips, swollen nose and a plethora of scratches, especially on her chin and left cheek. After further medical attention and a cold pack (actually, two) at home, Kiddo posed for what Hubby called a "mug shot" when he saw it:
Oh, my poor, sweet baby. Fortunately, she bounced back quickly enough to kick my butt at a consolation round of Mario Kart Wii, and was back in her typical great spirits by bath and dinner time. Also fortunately, she is a remarkably fast healer, so there is a fairly good chance that she will look mostly normal by morning. (She did wish aloud in the car on the way home from the playground for a playground surface that was softer than mulch. I asked her what she thought would be better, and her answer was "Pillows. I mean, they wouldn't have to be *everywhere* you know, just at the bottoms of things where kids might fall. Or jump. That's all.")
Oh, for the record, I take pictures *every* First Trip to the Playground each spring. For example, here is last year's First Slide and First Seesaw, taken exactly one year ago today (on a day that was clearly much warmer, as looking through the folder of pictures I saw not only short sleeves in abundance, but Kiddo enjoying her first ice cream of the year, which reminds me how nice a day it actually was last April 16th!):
I also found First Seesaw of the Year from 2007 - boy, Kiddo just keeps on growing.....!
I hope that you and yours get a chance to enjoy some nice weather this weekend! (Assuming Mother Nature cooperates in your neck of the woods...) TGIF!!
Want to check out more Phriday Photo Phun? Head on over to Candid Carrie's blog for the Phiesta!!