Scenes from a play day

Charlie slid down the slide at the playground. “Wee!”

Then, after playing hard and falling in a mud puddle, he tried the slide again and got stuck.

“Wee?”

****

Jesse pushed Charlie for a while before realizing that someone had colored the back of the baby swing with sidewalk chalk. By the time he saw the damage he had chalk on his hand, on the side of his pants, and in a perfect handprint across his crotch from where he’d scratched himself. I laughed for five minutes straight.

****

Charlie knows how to open the playroom door. He wiggles the knob and pushes until it opens enough for his fingers to fit in the space. The front door is heavier, but I’ve been locking it—just in case. (After a very small entryway it leads directly to the stairs.) This morning, Jesse forgot his keys. When he came back to get them, we must have forgotten to lock the door. I heard a snick and turned to see Charlie with his hand on the knob and the door opened just a crack. Terror must have made me super fast, because I nearly threw my back out getting across the foyer to close it.

****

On a walk through Prospect Park we stopped to see the ducks, geese, cormorants, and swans. “Quack, quack, quack, wawa,” said Charlie. We said hello to a neighbor who was there with her eight-month-old. And then the geese began getting out of the water.

They walked slowly but menacingly toward us. Four on one side of me and Charlie, three on the other side of our neighbor. More coming out of the water. My neighbor and I picked up our kids at the same time and began backing up. Further and further we walked, more geese coming after us. All I could think of was how our old dog Cecil’s father fought a goose to the death. Could these be those kind of geese? Vicious?

I turned and saw that an old lady was pulling out bagels, preparing to feed the birds. (Nanny, does this remind you at all of our first trip to NYC? Beware the pigeons! And, apparently, the geese.) Charlie and I dodged around the lady, narrowly avoiding the not-vicious-yet geese.

****

Charlie and I sat on the hill, green grass covered with fall leaves. I picked up a maple leaf by its stem. “What color is this, Charlie?”

“Bown.”

Could he have really said brown?

****

“Applesauce?”

“I have an apple. You want to share?”

Nod. Nod.

One big juicy bite later, Charlie grabbed my apple and took off.

Little apple thief.

****

As we walked around the lake:

“MAMA! MAMA! MAMA! MAMA! MAMA! MAMA! MAMA! MAMA!”

“What Charlie?”

Deep breath of awe. “Wawa.”

****

There are ride-on toys at the playground, and Charlie snagged a turn on the one that still has flashing lights. He liked it enough that he didn’t want to get off, even when he spied a particularly nice leaf.

But he wanted the leaf, too. So he leaned way over…until he slid right off.

He sat on the ground. Looked at the leaf. Looked at the little buggy. Looked at the leaf.

Then he pushed the ride-on toy away. “Bye bye!” And left both goodies behind in favor of the slide.

****

Normally he crawls up the stairs to the slide. Today, he saw another kid holding the hand rail and using his feet to go both up and down.

After two tries, Charlie was doing it, too. Big boy steps both up and down.

****

A little girl played in the tot lot today wearing part of her Halloween costume: a tiara and angel wings. (They had glitter and everything.)

Charlie saw her get out of the stroller and he ran over, following her halfway around the playground. “Bublefwy. Bublefwy. Bublefwy. MAMA! Bublefwy!”

I laughed. “Yes, she does look like a butterfly.”

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