Sunday, June 04, 2006

Playground Observations, etc.

Today "Josie's" friend graduated...the same one that came with us to the cabin last weekend. She's in a little family trouble apparently, because "Josie" already "jokingly" asked us if she could come live with us for awhile.

And you know...this is the only one of "Josie's" friends where that question doesn't make me fall on the floor laughing. I think they're actually pretty good for each other if someone's watching. I have a feeling it would be unworkable logistically with her new job and stuff, but who knows. We'll see what develops with our efforts on finishing the basement. There will be another room, and rent might come in handy.

But the real interesting thing to me today was going to her party in the park. Whenever there is a jungle gym, swingset, or other playing area, "Angel" will NOT be denied, and today was no exception. It was a good chance to see if her socialization skills have improved any.

When we walked up, there were two boys who looked like brothers and a girl "Angel" had met before already playing. The boys were arguing over a toy Vikings fishing rod, of all things. "Angel" walked up, sized up the situation, and grabbed ahold of one end of the rod yelling "mine". Not a very auspicious beginning if you ask me.

But then, it only took a word from me and she let go, looked properly ashamed for a moment, then beamed her brightest smile and demanded the right to go down the slide. Problem over at least for the moment, I guess.

While she was busy running up and sliding down presumably on autopilot, I noticed the girl sitting there. She was grabbing a handful of rocks, examining them carefully, then giving a big smile and hurling them straight up into the air. She would watch as they went up, then duck her head down when they came down, spattering her with pebbles. She would pause a moment, mutter "ouch" to herself, grab another handful, and begin the process over again.

She did this 5 times in a row while I surreptitiously watched, and seemed to enjoy it immensely. Apparently children tend to go on autopilot on that particular playground.

At one point while I was enjoying the festivities, "Josie's" friend's father walked up beside me and struck up a conversation. I immediately was on guard, because from what I've heard this guy isn't exactly a model parent if you know what I mean. But all he really had to say was that he was impressed with "Josie's" progress and he was impressed with what his daughter had told him about us. Apparently she talks about us "all the time". I know there could be good and bad things about that, but I was charmed just the same.

When I walked back to greet the guest of honor, she was talking with her family and as I walked up they were talking about last weekend. "Josie" mentioned that I had given her friend her first motorcycle ride last weekend. I couldn't help it. The first thing that flew out of my mouth was "yeah, and I'm still trying to get the pee off my bike". You shouldn't say such things when there are people around with squirt guns, but somehow I got off the hook with an embarassed smile.

Maybe she does like us. That would be cool.

That's about it for today, except for the side note that with one thing and another, I haven't started biking yet. I swear I will yet this summer, but it's like the second I made that decision, the weather hasn't cooperated or I have to watch "Angel" or Mom & Dad are around and we're working on a project or visiting or whatever. Aargh.


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