Onlooking moms and children were impressed with the confident toddler. She marched through the sand without hesitation and straight up the long set of steps. She slid down like a pro. All smiles and cheers at her success.
Then the moment.
It was one of those moments where you just know nothing good will come of it. Maybe it was the cool and breezy conditions. Maybe it was the overcast skies. More likely it was the fact that my two year old decided to go down the slide on her belly. Feet first, thank heavens. I can only imagine what would have happened if she went head first on her tummy!
I watched her slide faster than she thought she would in her new position. I tried to watch her face but it was inches off the slide for the entire thrilling ride. She did try to look behind her toward the end.
The next thing any of us knew she had caught air only to land unceremoniously in the mud with a big splat! My muddy baby picked herself up and cried.
I think it’s worth noting that I tried to comfort her without picking her up – something I would normally do! Why? Because I’m vain and she was covered in muddy sand. The boys were very concerned about their sister. What could they do to ease the pain of the moment? They stroked her back and repeated my words. “It’s ok.”
Promising to clean her up at the van was comfort enough for the torrential sobs to subside into regular cries. We gathered what little dignity we had left and walked back to the van. Half an hour to get everyone ready to go, eleven minutes to drive to the park, three trips down the slide, my baby was slimed, and I wasn’t sure if I could convince her to stay any longer! Good times.
The boys went into overprotective mode with comments like
Parker: I hope those big kids just leave because they just teached Gwen to go down the slide that way.
Gavin: Was that scary Gwen? I’m sorry you were scared.
Only she wasn’t scared and nobody made her do anything! She chose to go down a hello long slide that way all on her own. She was just mad that she was dirty. She is my daughter – irrational vanity and everything.
I cleaned up her skin the best I could with baby wipes. There was no hope for the clothes. I wiped out the inside of her flip flops but the ribbon and flowers were going to have to stay muddy. Gwen threw another fit when I told her to put her shoes back on. She would point angrily at the flowers and screech that they were dirty. Yep, that’s my girl. Life is all about looking good.
Somehow I convinced her to be ok with the indignity of it all. The boys went back to the long slide while Gwen climbed around the play structure. But she refused to go down any slides. Soon she was sitting on the curb surrounding the play area pouting. Why didn’t I think to bring my camera?
Eventually she dried and got over her poutiness. We finished out the time I had planned on us being at the park. Right as I was about to gather up the kids, Gavin ran over to me with muddy sand all over his face. Apparently he had face planted somehow. I just laughed. The whole experience was too funny and I couldn’t believe I didn’t have my camera.
At home I tried to get pictures.
BYU shirt – slimed
cute capris – slimed
cheap flip flops I spent 20 minutes decorating – slimed
Mommy band aid – slimed (Gwen was very upset about that!)
But the pictures didn’t turn out so well. She had dried completely so it wasn’t quite the same as when she was dripping. And it’s pretty obvious that she had gotten over it.
By the way, the clothes came out clean but the flip flops look the same. Who knew they would survive the washing machine (gentle cycle) but not look any cleaner? If Gwen gives me a hard time about the dirty flowers I can always replace them and the ribbon too if needs be.