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Lessons From the Park

The weather in Pennsylvania is getting warmer. Finally.

In honor of the first really warm, sunny spring day, I decided to take Grace to the park after school one day this week. Joe was driving by the park just as we arrived, and the three of us stayed and played until we were scarcely able to pick up our feet.

My camera just happened to be in the car that day, I took over a hundred pictures in the hour that we played. I wanted to remember everything about that blissful afternoon.

Joe and I have been a little stressed lately (for a number of mostly not-for-the-blog reasons and some health concerns).  Playing in the park was just what we needed. Joe and I left the park feeling mentally refreshed and ready to face any challenge.

When we got home, I downloaded all of the pictures I'd taken, and I realized that the three of us learned some lessons in the park.

Gracie can do it.

This was my lesson. I've already told you that I'm reluctant to let Grace do things on her own. I need to get over it. She wants to do things by herself, and she's very capable.

Look at me, guys! Taking a break

Sometimes, you need a boost.

This was Gracie's lesson. She wants to do everything herself. No matter how hard she tries, there are some things that she just can't do alone.

Like hanging from the jungle gym that's five feet up.

Let someone help you

Daddy (doesn't have to always) get it.

My doting husband waits on me and foot, and I've never seen anything wrong with that. I ask, he fetches, and I'm happy – what could possible be awry in this scenario?

You're probably wishing you were next to me right now so that you could thump me upside the back of my head, right? You can clearly see what's wrong here, but I never did. Until the afternoon in the park.

Grace found a baseball in the park, and she was playing fetch with herself. The scene was really cute.

She took her baseball up to the top of the slide, and then she threw it. It rolled down the slide and launched off into the mulch, probably fifteen feet away. She grumbled. And then she said a sentence I've heard a few times before – Daddy get it!

It was my voice, coming out of Grace's mouth. My heart sunk, and I saw what's wrong with his waiting on me. I bristled, and I said, “Gracie get it!”

Joe and I were having a nice conversation on a bench behind the slide. The baseball was off in another direction, and Grace was closest to it. She repeated, “Daddy get it!”

Daddy get it
This was in the midst of the Daddy get it! discussion.

Grace and I went back and forth a few times, just for good measure, until she took matters to a new level, throwing a little fit. She stomped her feet and jumped up and down and yelled “DADDY GET IT!”

I calmly repeated the same thing I'd repeated now at least eight times. “Gracie get it.”

We repeated ourselves again and again until she gave up, slid down the slide, and went to pick up the baseball. I'll be picking up my own baseballs from now on, too.

Everything is better together.

Grace likes going down the slide by herself, but once she realized that she could race her Daddy down the slide, she wanted to do that again and again.

Sometimes, we all get wrapped up in doing our own thing, but we can always make more time to do our thing together.

Here we go Daddy On your mark

I win
                                  "I win."                      "No, I win."

She's still little.

Grace is so big. She's tall and verbal and wanting to down grown up things like pee on the potty.

It's easy for Joe and I to lose sight of the fact that she's not even two years old yet. She's a baby.

She's not ready for the the big kid swings, and she's not ready to go too high on the baby swing, either.

Poor Gracie started to whimper a little on the swing, and we realized that we were pushing it too hard. She was going higher than she was comfortable, and she was scared. We backed off, and she was delighted. So delighted, in fact, that we pushed that swing for almost a half hour.

Not too high
Wheeee!

You have to walk away.

We were worn out. Plain old exhausted, all three of us. But Grace didn't want to leave the park. She wanted to stay and have more fun.

Walk away

We hadn't eaten dinner. Bedtime and bathtime were quickly approaching. We had to walk away from the fun at the park, and Grace didn't like it one bit.

We're a team.

At the end of the day, no matter what, we're a team.

We're a team.

It was good. It was good for Joe and I to play. Playing together with our kiddo cheered both of us. We're going to have to get out and play more often.

Happily submitted to the PhD in Parenting Carnival of Play

© 2009 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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39 thoughts on “Lessons From the Park”

  1. Ahh, Gracie get it. Such a good lesson taught in such a great and loving manner. I love the times with my nephew, too. I remember all about Having Fun for Fun’s Sake! I agree, the last pic is great!

  2. Ahh, Gracie get it. Such a good lesson taught in such a great and loving manner. I love the times with my nephew, too. I remember all about Having Fun for Fun’s Sake! I agree, the last pic is great!

  3. Wonderful lessons, Tara! I know what you mean about hearing your voice coming out of your child’s mouth – yikes! I’m learning to be VERY careful what I say. It’s good for all of us!

    I hope the time out from “regular” life was just the medicine you needed. I hope things will improve. {{Hugs]}

    Heather @ Not a DIY Life’s last blog post..Randomness

  4. Wonderful lessons, Tara! I know what you mean about hearing your voice coming out of your child’s mouth – yikes! I’m learning to be VERY careful what I say. It’s good for all of us!

    I hope the time out from “regular” life was just the medicine you needed. I hope things will improve. {{Hugs]}

    Heather @ Not a DIY Life’s last blog post..Randomness

  5. I love how we start with “Gracie do it” and move right along to “Daddy do it”, one smart cookie there. Oh, and gorgeous too. That team picture is priceless.

  6. I love how we start with “Gracie do it” and move right along to “Daddy do it”, one smart cookie there. Oh, and gorgeous too. That team picture is priceless.

  7. Pingback: Baby Play! Carnival Posts (Part 7) | PhD in Parenting
  8. I love your honest narrative of insights gained through reflection. I love how you used your photos to tell the story and to gain insight. I think it’s a great reminder that in parenting we are always learning, from our kids and from ourselves. It’s quite a deep revelation when we see our child mirror an interaction of us with our partner. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Joan Young’s last blog post..Whose Job is It Anyway?

  9. I love your honest narrative of insights gained through reflection. I love how you used your photos to tell the story and to gain insight. I think it’s a great reminder that in parenting we are always learning, from our kids and from ourselves. It’s quite a deep revelation when we see our child mirror an interaction of us with our partner. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Joan Young’s last blog post..Whose Job is It Anyway?

  10. I love this post – especially how you tied such lessons for both adult and child to one day in the park. We parents can learn a lot from our kids. I do my best to remember to tell my daughters when they teach me something – so they know that learning happens throughout life – and they have the power to teach as well as learn.
    The shadow photo is beautiful!

    Kate’s last blog post..An apple a day…

  11. I love this post – especially how you tied such lessons for both adult and child to one day in the park. We parents can learn a lot from our kids. I do my best to remember to tell my daughters when they teach me something – so they know that learning happens throughout life – and they have the power to teach as well as learn.
    The shadow photo is beautiful!

    Kate’s last blog post..An apple a day…

  12. This is such a beautiful post, Tara! I hope you turn all your posts about Gracie into a book for her one day. She will cherish it forever!

    Mariana’s last blog post..Sightseeing Sunday – Philadelphia

  13. This is such a beautiful post, Tara! I hope you turn all your posts about Gracie into a book for her one day. She will cherish it forever!

    Mariana’s last blog post..Sightseeing Sunday – Philadelphia

  14. It was nice to read your post. I found you on BlisDomst. The weather here has been cold, and the 1st sunny day this weekend made my day much “happier” — and with all the things bad things that go on in our lives – I think we could all use a little park fun!

    Lisa’s last blog post..Recipe #1 This Week

  15. Great Gracie likes to move and play, and that she sees her parents doing it too. Too many kids sit around too much these days or don’t have good role models. It’s great that you recognized that she wanted Daddy to wait on her and that it wasn’t right. It’s hard to stick to your guns (so to speak) to get the kiddos to do some things for themselves, but in the long run as parents you’ll be so very, very glad you did.

  16. Great Gracie likes to move and play, and that she sees her parents doing it too. Too many kids sit around too much these days or don’t have good role models. It’s great that you recognized that she wanted Daddy to wait on her and that it wasn’t right. It’s hard to stick to your guns (so to speak) to get the kiddos to do some things for themselves, but in the long run as parents you’ll be so very, very glad you did.

  17. It was nice to read your post. I found you on BlisDomst. The weather here has been cold, and the 1st sunny day this weekend made my day much “happier” — and with all the things bad things that go on in our lives – I think we could all use a little park fun!

    Lisa’s last blog post..Recipe #1 This Week

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