Bella is not a timid child by any means but today during our walk to the park she made several bold moves that surprised me.
Usually when I put her down on the path she scurries away, eager to explore. But she doesn’t like to venture off the asphalt onto the grass. Sometimes I pick her up and carry her onto the grass but then she doesn’t walk very well. I guess the ground is too uneven, too unpredictable. So she just clings to me or to the stroller.
But today I put her down and she struck out off the path and into the grass. Maybe it was because they cut the grass yesterday and it didn’t look so tall and intimidating. She gathered and discarded her usual collection of sticks, stones, leaves and grass—had to be steered away from several pieces of litter—and then headed for the swings.
She pushed one of the lowest hanging swings a little and then started whining so I picked her up, put her on my lap, and swung a bit. She smiled broadly and giggled a bit. Then began to squirm as if begging to be put down but wasn’t happy when she achieved the ground. So I pushed her for a while in the baby swing. She especially loves it when I stop the swing, lift it as high as I can, and then let it go. She loves the sudden plunge, laughs and begs for more. I think she’s going to love roller coasters.
After that we were off again, cross-country. Soon she acquired a direction: straight for the pack of dogs that had congregated on the sidewalk and were busy barking challenges. Fearless Bella would have waded right in. Fortunately one of the less aggressive pooches had wandered off to lie down in the shade. His owner was kind enough to let Bella pat and paw at him. And he put up with it pretty well.
After that we headed to the play ground where Bella likes to wander about on the path and stare at all the other kids. Today, though she seemed to get bored with the path and took off onto the gravel play area. She usually avoids that and I thought she’d continue to do so since the other day she fell in the gravel and scraped up the side of her face. But her new found confidence led her all over the playground. And then she really startled me by climbing up the ramped steps and onto the wooden playset. the steps are rally steep and I didn’t think she could handle them. But she did. With a nervous mom’s hand hovering right behind her little pampered behind.
Then she got a little too cocky and tried to go down a step that was at least two and a half, maybe three feet high. She almost made it but she also almost fell. She was halfway down and hanging by one arm before I realized what she was up to. I’m just glad she didn’t get it into her head to try the slide.
I can tell I’m going to have to be on my toes from here on out. She’s got very few fears and is quickly overcoming the few that have been holding her back. Watch out, world, here she comes!