Monday, April 18, 2011

Saddest Little Girl on the Playground

Yesterday was finally a nice day in Wisconsin. Warm enough outside that when Moodles got all crazy and started pouncing in the dogs and jumping on the couch, I decided to take her to the park to let her "get it out of her system." It was the saddest thing ever.

My child needs practice going to the park. There seem to have been two main issues. Item the first: Moodles does not enjoy wearing shoes, and because she has such chubby feet, I've had trouble getting shoes in her size that will go on her feet. Thus, up until recently, I've not been terribly good about putting shoes on her, and when I do, she either takes them off immediately or sits around forlornly, giving me dirty looks suggesting that I have crippled her with horrifyingly complex torture devices. Item the second: When Moodles finds a rock in the house, she tries to eat it. Being a reasonably responsible parent, I do not let her, and usually make her give me the rock so that I can dispose of it. Thus, when we went to the park, it was not the frenzy of running, flailing, and gravel tossing I had envisioned. My poor child. First I put SHOES on her, and then I took her to the park and set her down in a hill of gravel, which was an even more strange surface to be on than in shoes alone. She did not run. She did not smile. She just stood there looking at me for cues.

So I ran away from her and came back, to demonstrate the playfulness that she was supposed to be feeling. She sighed deeply. Then she leaned over and picked up a single particle of gravel and handed it to me. Then another. Then more resounding sighs, as though to say, "Mother. We are NEVER going to get this cleaned up in time to play before bed time."


After about 10 minutes of unsuccessfully trying to engage Moodles in play that wasn't quite so forlorn or serious, another little girl came to the park to ride the swings. She was about two and screeching with glee every time her Papa gave her an under-dog push. Moodles observed this very seriously, but did not approach. After the little girl left, I put Moodles in the swing to see if maybe she would like that more than the slide. (She seems to have a problem with the slide, wherein no matter which way I put her ON the slide she ends up coming down head first, looking like an unflappable butler going for a ride in the Batmobile. Not panicking. Just... completely unflapped. And up-side-down.) She eventually gave me a giggle for the swing, but other than that the playground was a complete flop.
Obviously we need more practice. We got home and she seemed relieved to be there with her doggies (which she went back to tackling) and her sofa (which she is darn near jumping off of these days.)



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