I can write this here because I know Molly doesn’t read this blog. Keep this between us, OK?
Yesterday was Patrick’s 11-month birthday. (Holy cow! I can’t believe there’s a real birthday to start planning!) He & I & Alex spent a good part of the day together yesterday. I wanted to start Mother’s Day a little early and give Molly as much time as possible on her own. Alex & I spent Saturday morning at the University District Farmer’s Market while Patrick slept. In the afternoon, the three of us went to neighborhood playground for an hour and a half so Mama could take a nap.
This was Patrick’s first extended outing at a playground. Overall, it worked out quite well. We were the only ones there, which was strange: it was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for playing outside. The solitude worked in our favor. I let Patrick crawl around next to me all over the play structure while Alex ran around on his own. There was no danger of other kids trampling over Patrick.
There are two small slides at this playground. This gave me one of my Great Parenting Ideas. (For other Great Parenting Ideas, see: Theo Chocolate). My idea: Patrick’s 11 months old today! Shouldn’t he go down the slide on his own?
To my credit, I realized that Patrick’s not that steady sitting up. I knew if I sent him down the slide in an upright position, he’d probably tip over backwards and bonk his head. So I applied creative problem solving: I’d send Patrick down the slide on his belly.
That seemed to be the most stable way to slide, with no chance of falling over. Sure, there was the minor bit about what would happen at the bottom of the slide, but I had a solution to that. I’d ask Alex to catch him at the bottom. Alex seems really strong for a three-year-old. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, to give myself some more credit, this plan did not end in tears. Alex was able to keep Patrick from crashing full-force into the ground. Instead, there was just a minor face-plant. That’s when I realized what I’d overlooked. When you have an 11-month old, who’s natural state consists of a face full of drool and snot, landing face-first into a pile of wood chips at the bottom of a slide… well, let’s just say that drool and snot act kind of like superglue to wood chips. It took quite a while to get all of the wood chips off from his face.
Luckily for me, there were no parents there to witness this. And since I brought Patrick back to the house all cleaned up, Molly doesn’t know, either. Let’s keep it our secret, shall we?