We went over to Pease Park this morning, as we often do on the weekends. At the park, Claire met another girl of similar age on the playground, and after a certain amount of persistence, Claire got the other girl to play with her. Whenever we go to the park, there is almost always one other about girl Claire’s age, and they always hit it off, at least after some initial sizing up. Claire’s technique used to be to simply ask the girl, “Do you want to play with me?” Now she has refined her approach. She followed the other girl around the playground, suggesting different play ideas until she finally hooked the other girl into playing. This one was a tough customer, a being a little shy and wrapped up in her new barbie bike, but eventually Claire snagged her.
As a sample of how this kind of thing goes, here is how it went today…
Claire had brought along some of her books to the park, and the winning idea this time around was to pretend that they had secretly stolen some books from the library. I, being the nearest adult, was obviously cast as the librarian. I gave myself the name Mr. Potter. I explained that they were free to check the books out of the library and didn’t have to sneak them out. But that was a silly suggestion. What fun would that be? That is such crusty adult thinking! There would be no drama if they simply checked out some books. That is no kind of game at all. No, they snuck the books out.
To add to the drama, they had also snuck some books away from a teacher. I suggested Molly, who was wondering around babbling, could be the teacher. I asked Claire what the teacher’s name was. Claire instantly came up with Mrs. Katrune. So there was poor Mrs. Katrune (Molly) wandering around the playground looking for her missing books. Claire and her friend got to hide the books and run away when Mrs. Katrune approached, and all other manner of fun. In truth they were very careful with the books, although they made some dramatic references to the books getting damaged. I occasionally put up a protest that I needed my books back, or they better at least check them out properly!
Eventually, this game ran its course, and the girls ran around and did swings, etc. Eventually even that ran its course, and they tried to figure out ways to make each other giggle. At one point, the other girl briefly pulled her pants down, causing a roar from herself and Claire. Claire thought this was cool and started to do the same. I had to step in and stop the madness. This was technically a new, previously unstated rule: keep your pants on in the park! The other girl’s dad, who had been absorbed by his own toddler as well, came over at that point and reinforced the keep-you-pants-on rule. The girls continued to push the limits in less risqué ways, such as running to the edge of the park close to the road. Molly was also getting especially reckless as this point, and it was clearly time to leave.
So there is it, the ups and downs of a day at the park with the girls. It was a fun, delightful, perplexing day at the park which really needed to end about 20 minutes ago.