Wednesday, August 11, 2010

at the park

today i made the mistake of telling ben that we were going to the park. in my head, i meant going to mill lake park but when i opened the garage door, ben went running down the driveway in the direction of the way that we walk to the park behind our house. when i ran after him and picked him up, he wailed all the way into his carseat with disappointment. thankfully mill lake isn't too far away and he was squealing with delight as he ran over the little hill, down towards the playground.

when i was little, i didn't want to play on a playground if there were any other kids there. yes, i was about as shy as you get. i can't keep ben on a play structure if there are no kids there - he's running to where the action is. at mill lake, there's a specific little spot that i love with a structure called "toddlertown". he can climb it, slide it, drive it all by himself. in fact, he mastered climbing UP the slide all on his own yesterday. i can sit on the edge and watch which is very fun to see his independence. but if there are no toddlers around, off he goes to the gigantic, very big kid friendly, playground - chattering, shouting, and waving his arms all the way there.

later in the day, we walked over to the park behind our house. it's a school and there are day camps/daycare run out of the school everyday. the kids can be there until 6pm. for the most part, kids ignore him or aren't sure what to make of him. or if he runs up to them (as he always does), i let him, read the kid's reaction, and usually go over and lead him away. the other day, there was a kid crouched under some climbing bars and ben ran up to him, stood in front of him pointing his finger in the boy's face, and shouted, "buh-bye! buh-bye!" the kid just stared at him. but it was hilarious. so yesterday we went and ben charmed a 7 year old girl who led him around by the hand for a good 20 - 30minutes. very cute. but today's park excursion was the best. there are two kids sitting cross-legged, chatting, under the play structure. ben gets away from me and before i can grab him, he plops down next to these kids and is smiling back and forth at them. they kind of laugh and say hi. ben chatters away to them. they play a little with the bark mulch. ben laughs and copies. they get a kick out of this and call over a couple friends. they start giving ben bark mulch and he takes it and gives it to the next kid. they love it. it becomes a giant bark mulch exchange. they are chatting to me and asking how old he is, what his name is, yada yada. then they ask if they can take him on the playground. well these 4-5 kids walked ben around, made baby talk, blocked the parts of the structure he could potentially fall from, laughed with him, made him laugh - it was so fun to watch.

when i finally said that i had to go, they moaned and were disappointed. i asked if they were there everyday. they are. i told them we'd see them again. ben waved bye and off we went.

i think this kid a park-lover. but only if there are kids there.
(photo by ang)


Ashlee said...

cute story bec :)

Anonymous said...

I can relate to Ben! I like going places and do things, but only do I really enjoy everything if I have other people to share it with!

dawn said...

I'm with Ben...everything is more fun with other people!

LaelDyck said...

love this! i can totally picture this whole thing happenings. it's greta that those kids were so into Ben and you could sit back, relax and watch. :D

theRachel said...

I wonder if this is indicative of his personality to come...will he be a very social kid?