Sunday, May 25, 2014

Love you to Pieces

Today we picnicked in Hampton Park after swimming. Hampton Park has everything a kid could want in a park, with just the faintest whiff of seediness to make it feel like an adventure. There's a swimming pool, a great play structure, a wide open field and the whole thing is bordered by trailed forest.

First we laid down our towel under a pretty tree that rained purple petals on us. We forgot our cutlery, so we managed to get through our chick pea salad using specialized "food shovels" (crackers). After a dessert of oranges and Girl Guide cookies, we made our way toward the edge of the forest and waded in. Mosquitoes. Lots of them. Also maybe poison ivy. We tried to avoid the latter, and were absolutely feasted on by the former. After finding a few interesting bits of moss, an intricately holey tree, a friendly and relatively unsuspicious looking dude smoking something slightly more suspicious, and a lonely snail just begging to be relocated, our hike through the forest ended rather abruptly as Elle yelled (fresh from another mosquito assault) "I DON'T WANT TO BE IN HERE ANYMORE!!!" and bolted back out to the sunshine faster than I have ever seen those legs move. Okay. Forest time over.

The snail accompanied us for the rest of our playdate, mostly watching from a nearby beach towel and occasionally being paraded around on E's arm. Now, it was bad enough when I realized that I would have to get comfortable enough with slugs when my daughter developed an affinity for snails - their moderately less distasteful incarnation. It was almost more than I could bear today watching her lovingly "wipe its bum" with a leaf (for #2) and a soft purple petal (#1) after it chose to repeatedly use her hand as a latrine. Gah. 

After the forest we went on to the Feats of Strength as she scaled the rock wall a few times and engaged in random acrobatics to my motherly amazement. At some point though, she became Elsa and I became Periwinkle and we had serendipitously run into each other in a mountain after coincidentally both freezing our families and running away in self-imposed exile. So we made a magical ice palace, naturally, which happened to be a very good vantage point for a local baseball game in progress in an adjacent field. We watched that for a while, quietly leaning into each other and occasionally reminding ourselves how lucky we were to have found each other in this mountain.

Then one of us had to poop so we did five minutes on the tire swing and hightailed it out of there. 

Back at home, we did some gardening and went head to head in a gruelling game of checkers. After one "false start" (it was her first are kind of mandatory) and more than a few "oversights" on my part, she came out the victor after a nail-biting thirty minutes. 

At some point we came to the place we always get to. I need to get something done that doesn't lend itself well to being trailed by a 43 pound blocker. I explained that things become complicated and at times treacherous when every time I turn around I have to bob and weave to avoid injuring one of us. Surprisingly, she seemed happy to go upstairs and harass consult with her father for a few minutes. About ten minutes into my solitary bliss I heard the pitter patter of feet on the stairs and thought "Well, it was a good run." That's when she presented me with a piece of paper that read:

Ay luv yoo too pesus. Sew ay want too folow yoo arawnd.

And so I responded the only way you can respond to such a gesture:

Sweetheart, you can follow me around forever.

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