Still Awkward at the Park

Yesterday I wrote about ten gross things that “may” be true that my daughter has done.  Ya, the truth is that she did all of those things.  Except now I can say that this morning she stuck her hand in the toilet bowl and swished around in there.  Ew.  Seriously.  Ew.  Anyways…

I’ve been taking Miss K. to the park to play for about nine months now.  Basically once she starting sitting up steadily, I started taking her regularly and I’d put her in the swing and slide her down the slide.  Now that she’s walking, she goes everywhere.  And so does the sand, unfortunately.

Despite the countless hours I’ve spent there, I’m still pretty awkward.  I don’t know how to act when my baby goes over and plays with someone else’s toys.  I usually just say “That’s not ours, baby” and the mom will say it’s ok for us to play with.  When that happens, I let her play.  But she’s really friendly and will sometimes plop right down next to another child and just reach over and play with the toys they’re playing with.  She doesn’t take toys out of other kids’ hands but they often look at her like “WTF?”  I don’t know what’s appropriate at her age.  I want her to explore and to be friendly but I don’t want her to be one of those kids who’s constantly grabbing stuff away from others.  Part of it’s just human nature to want stuff that others have.  I don’t know.  I also find myself apologizing for her when she’s just being a baby – she’s curious and wants to touch new things and new people. Do I stop her from touching other kids?  She once stuck her hand in someone else’s goldfish bag.  Luckily I knew the mom and she said it was fine but she just moves so fast.

The other thing I’m awkward about is talking to other moms.  Sometimes it’s super easy – I’m not really a shy person but sometimes it feels forced or obligatory to say hello to other parents (which isn’t a problem for me) but I find that I almost feel obligated to ask how old their little one is and tell their parents how cute their kid is.  I don’t know what to say.

I also don’t know how much to follow Karina around.  She still doesn’t really pay attention to where she’s going and once walked off the top of the slide.  Luckily she dropped to her bottom quickly and slid into the sand (didn’t even cry although I just about did!).  She also is still interested in eating sand so I feel like I have to hover over her.  I want her to be independent and explore but then these things happen that I’m not comfortable with.  And if she’s playing, i want to let her play in peace.  But it’s easy to grab my phone and play a game or whatever (whatever being facebook, btw).  I don’t want to be that parent so i when I catch myself, I try to put away the phone and just sit and watch her.

I’m also not sure what’s ok with other people’s kids.  I love children so I want to talk to them.  But they’re taught stranger danger so I’m not trying to traumatize them or scare their parents.  Usually I smile at them and if they talk to me, I talk to them but don’t have much of a conversation.  Sometimes I see kids wandering off where they shouldn’t go.  Usually my initial instinct is to call out to them or go get them but I try to let their parent know instead.

I don’t know why I feel so awkward at the park but I do.

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