|Image courtesy of Stoonn at FreeDigitalPhotos|
"We have a Mom Down in the Gamma Quadrant of Sector Four, I repeat: Mom Down." (Ok, I stole part of that from my son's talking Buzz Lightyear toy...)
Last Friday we had a play date at the park with a "new" mom we recently met. It was Spring Break for the kids, and our daughters are the same age and got along well - so we thought we'd toast the 70 plus degree day right by basking in some sunshine, a picnic (ala McDonalds), and letting them play.
Since my 18 month old runs me ragged at home, you would think I woulda saw this coming.
New Mom got to lounge on the park bench luxuriantly and work on her tan, while casually watching her 7 and 4 year old children dart, climb, and slide down the equipment. My experience would prove to be slightly different.
I had not been to the park with my baby since last Fall, in his pre-walking stage, mind you. His mobility has since taken a fantastic turn for the better. So I found myself frantically trying to figure out how to protect him. Because he has no natural boundaries, this child. None whatsoever.
As a side note, I noticed one of our local shiny newscaster celebrities with her newish baby girl on the swings. I remember seeing her pregnant on her newscast for awhile, and now she must be taking a break. She actually looked even better in person - very glamorous still, of course.
Seeing someone that is so well put together like this always gives me pause for a second or two with the thought, "Maybe I should have given my appearance a little more attention before I dragged the kids outta the house with all our gear, diaper bag, hoodies, ice waters, snacks, and the stroller? Oh, well." It just doesn't rank all that high on the Mommy Priority List most days. I know you hear me talking.
They have two different clusters of equipment, for bigger kids and for the wee ones. So at least I had that going for me. But each platform area was connected by crawl tubes. Great! And each platform area had at least one drop off opening. Great! (Why do they do that?)
So you can visualize me following him up the stairs to our first platform. It doesn't take long for him to decide to head down a crawl tube. It doesn't take long for me to decide I should probably not head down the crawl tube.
I look around for the quickest platform exit, descend, rush over to the platform where he will be emerging onto, and climb up there to meet him on the other end. This continues. Over and over. And over.
I actually pulled off this maneuver successfully numerous times. Until I didn't. Until my flimsy, inappropriate footwear and my mild feeling of panic conspired against me as I tried to quickly climb down the curved monkey bars.
I twisted my ankle. The only thing worse than hurting yourself and being in pain, is being both embarrassed and in pain. Because on a very busy day, with lots of eye witnesses - I hurt myself falling off the toddler equipment at the park. Trying to prevent my toddler from getting hurt. Ironic. And awkward.
But worse, I couldn't move ... and my baby had emerged on the other side. Realizing his new found, unrestricted-by-mom freedom, he was gleefully searching for the nearest opening to plunge himself through so we could both ride together in the ambulance with our leg injuries.
The good news: My baby got to meet the famous newscaster and her hottie baby daughter. Cause she was the mom that stepped in and came to my rescue. Bless her heart! She saw my plight, and grabbed him until I could recover enough to come retrieve him myself.
Of course this was only 30 minutes or so into our play date, and I didn't want to make my daughter miss out on her fun. But now I had a small problem - I couldn't keep up with Wild Man with two good ankles ... now I REALLY couldn't do so.
I checked in with New Mom, my pseudo play date mommy friend. No back up implicitly requested, nor offered. On to Plan B.
I did the only other thing I could think of: I stuffed him in his stroller, my only means of containment, and proceeded to limp around pushing him on a ride for the next hour to buy his sister a little more time to play.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: Oh, the things we do for our kids!
*o* *o* *o*