Puppets, Park, and Perspective

So today was one of those afternoons you just try to get through. Too hot to go outside and we had played with nearly everything in the house. It was also one of those days that no one seemed to nap at the same time or nap much at all; so there was either a toddler or a newborn who needed me. I was either meeting their basic needs or trying to engage their curious minds with play, all day long.
My toddler loves to take me hostage by forcing me to put on these two puppets and entertain her with elaborate story lines. Buying puppets is one of those purchases you think will be used as this creative and educational toy for your kids but the the parent ends up having to be the most creative to actually use them!

So instead of losing my mind pleading with my toddler "to have just two more bites" of her food. I threw these little ones in the car to get out of the house. We drove to the library to drop off a stack of potty training books. Oh not because we were so successful we could return them early. But instead we are still in comfortable diapers after using the potty for everything but actually taking a piss. There was no way I was going into the library with two little ones in this state of mind, but to only drop off the books.
We then made a stop at Sonic for a milkshake. I asked if my toddler wanted ice cream and she said yes, so fuck it milkshake for dinner it is tonight. It has the word milk in the title so it seemed good enough for tonight.
Last stop was the park. There was a group of boys about the age of 14 laughing, cussing, talking, and playing some game on the play equipment. Despite their attempt at cracking inappropriate jokes to each other, I could sense all these boys were pretty good kids. They were mindful of my toddler wobbling around them and I even overheard one say "stop cussing" when we took over their play equipment. We did our own thing leaving them their space. My little girl wanted me to swing her by her arms, watch her on the slide and push her on every swing while I made funny faces so she could giggle. Every so often we checked on the baby in the car seat and sipped the milkshake.
I started to think about where these boys parents were at. They were probably at work, or making sure they have dinner, but they definitely were not at the park with them. The boys sure didn't want to laugh and talk at the park with there uncool parents. They no longer needed their parents to supervise them or help them up to the next step on the park slide. Their parents are at a stage where they are helping them navigate much trickier situations then which stuffed animal gets to come to the park today.
I had fun at the park with my girls and as we left I felt a little more appreciative of this stage of life. The early years are exhausting, but filled with so much love, connection, and affection that seems to be a little harder to come by as they grow.

Then as we go to leave my toddler dumps her half eaten milkshake allover her sister in her car seat... Maybe milkshake for dinner wasn't such a brilliant plan.

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