There is a local park that Charlie and I frequent. It has an accessible playground for her and a very nice fitness course for me. The park is really very nice.
When Charlie and I go to the park, she watches as the other kids play. I try to show her what she can do and challenge her to try new things. However, her eyes are fixed on the other kids.
She badly wants to play with them but the inability to walk prevents her. Walking is the social dividing line between baby and toddler. Usually, she settles in a spot where she can see the other kids play and also keep me close by. Quite often, I have to prevent the other kids from running over her while she tries to play. At which point, other parents call out “Watch out for that baby!”
Honestly, I feel sorry for her. Not quite a toddler and no longer a baby.
Today was different.
Another kid took a moment to play with her. It made Charlie’s day. She was so excited she forgot to hold on and stood independently for a moment.
Later, Charlie wanted to investigate another kid that was feeding ducks. Prior to today, the closest she has come to seeing a live duck is her ninja duck toys (pictured on the left).
The ninja ducks are among her favorite toys. “Ducks” is one of two words that she will use consistently. (The other word is “daddy”.)
After watching the boy feeding the ducks, Charlie wanted to move closer. We stood in the midst of the ducks while she watched them intently. Her face lit up as she made the connection and said, “Ducks!”
That’s right, Charlie, ducks.