Busy Day: Library and Playground

Today was a gorgeous day. Warm, sunny. So nice for a change. It seems like lately its been al rain all the time.

A good day to just get out of the house. First, we went to the library. They played with puzzles (I think between the two of them, Ben and Sophie did just about every one there.) and got a few books. Then I lured them away with a promise of the playground.

I was so glad I’d taken the extra five minutes to pack up a bunch of snacks, enough snacks to double as lunch. It was an impromptu picnic on the run but it did the job: string cheese, bags of Cheerios, leftover toast from breakfast, apple slices and grapes. I mostly sat on a bench in the shade with Anthony in the sling and watched the others run around.

Ben soon was engaged in a game of follow the leader with Bella, shadowing her every move as much as he could. When she climbed up something he couldn’t climb, he stood at the bottom and tried to climb up.

Ben was so cute. I wish I’d had my camera. This morning he’d picked out a Red Sox Manny Ramirez jersey. I’d found a little ball cap (Old Navy brand). His skin is so white. Little feet moving in this funny little shuffling run/walk he does. When he stands he often clasps his hands behind his back.

Such a contrast with Bella. She’s all brown with long skinny limbs. A pink polka dot shirt, tiered denim skirt, white sandals which kept filling with bark, pale green sun hat, half a size too small over her dark brown braids. She looks waif like and runs like a girl with her arms all awkward.

And then there was Sophie in her flowery dress and sparkly silver sandals. Her blondish hair escaping from her braids. Poor Sophie found herself the unintentionally excluded middle child. Several times she came and tugged at me complaining, “I want someone to play with me.”

At one point though Ben was going up to Sophie and shoving her. I started to reprimand him when I realized she was laughing. Who am I to interrupt their game?

At one point I looked up to see that Ben had followed Bella up to the highest part of the tallest play scape structure. I wasn’t even sure how he’d got up. They deliberately make the steps really tall precisely to make it harder for such little guys as him to scale them. But scale it he had. And with Anthony nestled on my chest asleep in the sling I wasn’t sure I could get up there where he was. I had to coax him down.

Even then he wouldn’t leave the playground. He wanted to run back and forth over the bridge he’d been afraid to cross just minutes before, to crawl through the tunnel and climb up and down the steps. Reveling in his physical mastery of all those hard tasks. To get him to come to the car I had to bribe him with cookies waiting at home. When we got there he took one bite and decided he didn’t like it:Don’t like it!; but it had done its job.

He really didn’t want to slow down for a nap but fortunately we had those new library books. Halfway through the third one he passed out next to me on the couch. Phew! With a hungry Anthony attached to me,I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage wrestling with a cranky toddler. But I guess he really wore himself out.

Sophie was tired too. At about 3 or 3:30 she crept off to her room while I was reading to Bella and passed out in her bed until almost 6.

Unfortunately, bedtime tonight wasn’t much of an improvement over the last few nights. He’s just boycotting his bed and trying to do anything but sleep. Finally I got him to lay down in bed with the door open and I sat on the floor in the middle of the room, motionless until at last he gave up squirming and fell asleep.

And now I should seek sleep too. Anthony is asleep but a bit squirmy. I should get to bed before he decides to wake up all the way and eat.

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