The knitting group I've attended off and on (more off than on), and a homeschool group I need to start attending are merging experimentally at a great time and a great place - Tuesday afternoons, at Washington Park! Take the toddler, take a washcloth-in-progress - best of all worlds!
Turns out, there's a limit how much you can knit while chasing Kittyboy. But it was still a really fun afternoon. First I had to convince him that he COULD play without me looking over his shoulder - that he was perfectly fine playing with me sitting on a bench instead of following him. Then I had the opposite problem, trying to get him to play at the jungle gym near where I was sitting, instead of the one across the park! (So, that's a "Yes!" to independent play!)
He had lots of fun with the other random toddlers who happened to be playing where he was. They spent a lot of time pointing at each other and saying various things that weren't all that intelligible. WHEE, however, is understood by all! WHEE is universal!
He also got pointed out as a good example! His climbing skills are QUITE proficient, and another mom used him to try and teach her son who was maybe a few months younger how climbing works. "See where he puts his feet? And then he uses his legs, and then he pulls himself up!" Again and again, time after time, as both boys enjoyed the tornado slide - the one scampering up with ease, while the other used the "mommy elevator".
He did a somersault down the tornado slide once, apparently because he couldn't decide whether to go down sitting up or feet-first on his tummy, and so he decided to do both at once. Didn't phase him. I'm not sure he realized what happened.
He wanted very much to do the rock wall - if he were just an inch taller, he'd be doing it, easy. Boy loves to climb. And is good at it. 'Nuff said.
I learned a few things. 1) apparently any mom in a skirt can substitute for me if he wants one and she's closer. He chatted at length with one lady about a ball he had found. His end of the conversation was mainly, "Ball - yeah!" He grabbed his Aunt Carey by the hand, said, "Mommy!" (news to her!), pulled her over to the teeter-totter, and said, "Bounce! You bounce, up-down!" and she did the teeter-totter with him until I rescued her. Which I admit to not doing as fast as I could have.
2) Kittyboy is not allergic to bee stings. Useful knowledge, since a hive has taken up residence in a hole in our yard (we put shoes on him when he plays in the yard, and have pointed it out as a spot to stay away from). There were several flying around the playground, evidently he put his hand down on one and it stung him. He came running to me with that high-pitched squealing cry that means Something Actually Is Wrong, and the bee still stuck in his palm! Yeah, that was fun. I flicked the bee off, carried him squealing over to Carey and her friend Shannon and asked, "So have you ever removed a sting before?" Shannon got it out, by which time he'd calmed down considerably. He snuggled for a while, but went back to playing pretty quickly. All that swelled was his hand, and that not too much. So hey, now we know - not allergic. Or afraid of flying insects - after the bunsen burner/candle equation, I would have thought a bee sting would make him afraid of anything small and winged. Not so, to my great relief.
3) Somersaults down tornado slides - fun. Somersaults down stairs - not. More tears, a bleeding lip and skinned nose, more snuggling. While we snuggled and rocked, I asked him, "Do we want to go home now?" He sobbed, "Nooooo!" And soon went back to playing.
All in all, it was a very good day with moments of not-so-goodness. But a wonderful day overall!