Yesterday my Mom helped me take Cora to the playground. Yes, I'm finally THAT pregnant that I need help chasing a two year old over gym equiptment. My first (and ironically not stupid) concern is to ensure that there are no used hypodermic needles, condoms or enticing (and probably HIV ridden) food items lieing around. In case you are laughing at my overactive imagination, I've found all three at playgrounds in my life time, and two of them (fortunately not the needles) with Cora. I don't let her play in the sand boxes there though. The junkies probably bury them in there. Fortunately this playgroud contained none of the offending articles. It didn't contain nuclear waste or venimous insects either. Perhaps I should add those to my list...
I'm not sure whom I was prouder of. My daughter whose zest for life took her up the tallest jungle gym parts, around the gaping tire swing hole and to the curly slides that go down two stories, or my mother (Nanny) who chased after her while I sat on the benches pretending to be comfortable. Nanny has a fear of heights. She didn't even mention it when we pulled in to the play ground parking lot and she saw that the "swings" were part of a two and a half story structure with two curly slides.
Bravest of all, Nanny went down a curly slide with Cora. Last time i did that (also with Cora) I ended up vomiting in the trash can. We'll blame that on the early months of baby number two's development.
Taking your child to a playground is a great way to pump a few quarts of adrenaline into your system. The prospect of them injuring themselves, and the delicacy of their bodies becomes the central topic in your mind. Especially with smaller children, you look at the various "fun" toys, and think about all the places they could fall, bang, snag and flop.
In fact, Cora managed to fall an astonishingly low number of times (3) and only managed to seriously topple once. Taking turns jumping, she and a little boy turned a plastic bridge into a very fun launcher, and managed to bounce themselves off of the surface. Unfortunately, they both got excited and forgot to wait for the other to regain footing.
The toddler slide is probably responsible for any gray hair that shows up this week on both me and nanny. Every time Cora reached the bottom her feet would drop and she would be propelled onto her hands and knees. My heart gave a jump, my pulse quickened and I spontaneously jerked forward as if to catch her. She got up giggling and ran back to the top.
Funnier yet was watching Nannys hands. They would hold her camera with either a little firmer grip (thank God they build cameras to take stress) or if she wasn't behind the lense, flit forward in motions I'm certain my own limbs must mimic. Thrills are part of a two year olds existence, and through love and the crazy idea you can protect them from every harm in the world, part of a parents as well. I have new respect for each of the gray hairs my Mother bosts. I think I saw a few in the mirror this morning.