I took the kids to the playground this evening and got to enjoy watching Katherine socialize with other kids. Adventures ensued:
I don’t really know what she makes of other children, but she alternates between hanging back, looking out from underneath her eyelashes at them, and shadowing them. Today she decided to shadow a little boy who surprised her by turning around and grabbing her hand. He hauled her all over the playground, and they played tag, ran up and down the equipment, and she looked like she was having a blast. I think it’s her version of having a friend. The boy was about a year older than Katherine, so he showed her how to manage some of the playground equipment she hadn’t quite braved yet. Good, yes?
Well, when the little boy left, Katherine tried the older-kids’ equipment again, just as I was settling in to feed Nathaniel on the grass. And she fell, busting her lip on the bar on the way down. She ran toward me with a mouth full of blood, very upset. Thankfully, it was just a bloody lip, but she was quite intrigued by the mess. Just before she fell I had been thinking, “Wow, she looks really cute. I’ll have to get the camera out the next time she wears that shirt.” Now we’ll see if the shirt survives the bloodstains.
I have been happily surprised by the other parents I’ve seen at the playground. They’re quick to lend a hand if they see trouble or if a parent is busy with one child while the other wanders. I’ve had offers to push Katherine on the swing while I fed Nathaniel, and today another mom immediately hopped up to bring Katherine over when she got hurt. Nice people.
We resumed playground activity when I found a ladybug. Katherine was quite impressed that I managed to get it to crawl up my arm, and she followed it around on the ground for a good ten minutes. A good chance to practice being gentle with small creatures!
And, finally, when Katherine picked up a piece of trash I pointed to the rubbish bin nearby. She promptly threw the item away . . . and then spent the rest of the time picking up all sorts of trash to put in the bin. I was definitely regretting the lesson by the end of the day, glad as I was that she is so into putting things away!