Jordan-white shirt with flowers, Talia-Navy shirt with flowers)
This past weekend we took a trip to the park near our house with my parents who were visiting from North Carolina and my niece and nephew who live here. It’s the same park where we took the girls swinging for the first few times.
But we haven’t been back since then because the playground is covered in wood chips.
While the girls were only crawling it was no big deal to hold them in the playground if they weren’t swinging, but when the started walking it wasn’t fair to expect them to be ok with NOT getting to run around, but they would just eat wood chips, so we didn’t go there. So for the past 6 months we’ve been mainly going to a great park about 20 minutes from our house that has AstroTurf and a sail shade on the playground.
Now at 15 months the girls don’t really put things in their mouth as much and even if the do, they don’t try to swallow things that don’t taste good. Brilliant children. So off to the wood chip covered park we went. It was so awesome. When I was there previously I didn’t even pay attention to the perfect toddler sized jungle gym along side the three story talk jungle gym for the bigger kids.
Talia and Jordan had the best time running up the ramp and choosing from four different slides to go down.
The cousins were such a huge help. Even though they are big kids they are still small enough to get inside the jungle gym and help Talia and Jordan navigate there way and make sure they didn’t get hurt.
There were steps to climb, small spaces to discover, and rails to reach for.
It’s a perfect park for tiny toddlers with swings and a separate playground for the big kids.
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Being a parent, especially a new one is an on going lesson in using your best judgment. I struggle constantly with how much freedom to give my girls. Where should I draw the line between letting them explore and keeping them safe.
Sure I could expertly baby proof every square inch of our home and make sure that nothing except baby tested and certified toys get into their hands, but I don’t think that’s the best way to raise independent, creative children. And despite the fact that the girls have toys that are safe and developmentally appropriate within arms reach at all times they would always prefer to get their hands on something new.
I read in a parenting book to try, as much as possible, to only say “no” to a child if they are in real danger of hurting themselves. It’s a way of keeping the word “no” a serious and meaningful one. Jordan is really good at listening when either of us says no, it kinda startles her. But she was always the one to jump at the slightest noise, even when she was a brand new infant. She is also a very cautious and careful child so she doesn’t get herself into dangerous situations too often.
Talia on the other hand is a little dare devil. She will jump off anything and everything. She automatically assumes that if we are within arms reach we will catch her. She is always climbing and falling and hurts herself many times in a day.
When you have a new baby the last thing on your mind is the day that they start running, usually with a small object in their hand, and then they fall. The thing is, it hurts little knuckles a lot when you land on them because the little hand was busy clenching a tiny toy and there is no way to prevent it. They will fall, they will get hurt and you, as the parent, just have to try not to freak out.
The girls have lots if toys that could present a hazard, we try as much as possible to supervise them when they are playing with these toys such as the Melissa and Doug stacker with its wooden stick or the drum sticks from their music set or even the bristle blocks that when stepped on hurt a good bit.
I took this video of the girls this past weekend. I can’t believe we are here already, they take turns so nicely until the very end when it starts to get ugly. But for a while they each take their turn. Talia starts out with a stick in her hand, which I took away because eyes are really hard to replace. But the whole time I was filming this I was saying to myself Talia, please sit before you go down the slide. And, begging for those little rubber soled shoe to not get stuck on the plastic slide. And for no one to fall off while climbing up and for none of the other hundred things that an go wrong in a second to happen. If you turn the volume way up you can probably hear me gasp a few times.
Oh, and to all the stranger that wished us good luck when they saw us out with our infant twins, we will take it now, we need it for their toddler years.