Saturday, June 30, 2007

Weekend Reflection

Aw, the close of another week! It was very busy, and not everything was fun and games. I can't even remember what happened on Monday! But, Tuesday I had a dentist appointment scheduled. I dropped Scamp off at a friend's house, came home to pick up my cell phone, and the car started leaking fluid and overheating! I couldn't leave then, so I called to cancel my appointment. Beef came home, so that I could go pick up Scamp. Thankfully, I didn't break down in town, and Scamp had a safe place to stay! Thanks for watching her, Tiff!

Wednesday was water park day. You can see the slideshow below. My sisters-in-law were so sweet to invite us along, so we could get in free!! Scamp had a blast splashing around with her cousins. I even got some quality time with my nephew, Ian, when he, Scamp and I went on a boat ride around the lake.

Thursday we had the day off from our usual Thursday night get-together, so we headed to McDonald's. Scamp played in the very hot and muggy Play Place, then we went to Hastings to rent Happily Never After. I thought it was a very good kid's movie.

Friday, my mom and niece, Alex, came up and took Scamp and I out to eat and shopping. Scamp got a new bathing suit to take on our beach vacation next week. Beef and I rented Bridge to Terabithia. It was a good movie, but nothing like what I expected. I would have liked a little less reality and a little more CGI.

It was a busy and exhasuting week, but we managed to go to bed really early one night and get the extra sleep we needed. God kept us all safe, especially during the scattered thunderstorms we've had. Sonya and I have decided to be email accountability partners, meaning we make a list of goals for the week like reading the Bible and praying daily, then email each other our progress on Thursdays. We also pray for each other throughout the week. It's been a blessing.

Join in at Judi's.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Photo Hunters: Sweet

What else could be sweeter than a lap full of sweet Scamp and a bowl full of chocolate brownie with ice cream? I fixed that bowl for me. But one glimpse of chocolate from Scamp, and she's stealing my bite!

Play along at Photo Hunter's.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Water Park Outing

Just in case you couldn't tell, I can't resist a good slideshow. I'm all about pictures. We went to a local water park yesterday with Scamp's aunts and cousins. They swam and swam. All were exhausted by the end of the day. As soon as we pulled out of the park, Scamp said "Bite, bites," meaning "I'm hungry." I thought I would pull in the drive through at Mickey D's a mere 3 minutes away, but when I turned back to glance at Scamp, she was already out! It was "Bring a Friend Day," so we were the friends who got in free! Thanks so much for inviting us, Boppy and ShaSha.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Poolside and Park Day

Saturday, we decided to head to one of our local outdoor pools as a family. Scamp had not swam with her Daddy this year, so she was excited and clung to him most of the day. He was able to sneak away to have a few jumps off the diving board, but I wasn't able to get any pictures.

Sunday was Family Day with our church. They rented a pavilion at one of the local parks and set up a huge slide in the shape of the Titantic and jumping pit for the kids. We had hamburgers and hot dogs and waited in line 3 times to take Scamp down the slide. When it was my turn with her, I started getting really nervous. Beef says I'm a wimp when it comes to this kind of stuff and maybe I am, but I still went down.

We had to climb up an enclosed tunnel, and once we reached the top and looked down, my first instinct was to turn right around and head back down that dark tunnel, pushing kids out of the way to reach freedom. But, I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of all those 5 year olds. I sat down above the steep decline of the slide, placed Scamp in my lap, and pushed myself off, not wasting anytime so as not to talk myself out of sliding. My mind was in slow motion but my body continued to pick up speed. It felt as though my stomach had left it's cozy spot underneath my rib cage and repositioned itself in my throat. I clutched Scamp with my left arm while trying to slow us down with my right elbow. We reached the bottom just as the teenage slide keeper dodged my incoming feet and narrowly escaped a broken leg if we had collided.

We bounded off the air-fluffed bottom, and Scamp ran into her daddy's arms. I think she could feel the fear I had tried to mask, but my rapid heart beat and shaking limbs unveiled my panic. I hadn't noticed before, but my right elbow was burning. And when I looked down, I saw that the slide's canvas had in fact burned my skin as I was instinctually trying to slow our acceleration. I don't care what anyone says, that was no kiddie ride!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Photo Hunters: Shiny

This one was hard, but I've been wanting to post these pictures for awhile. You can see the shine of the glass door and probably the smudgy hand-prints in certain places as well. Scamp loves her kitkat and couldn't believe he wasn't hiding from her this time. Our kitkat was smart, knowing she couldn't reach him through that glass.

Play along at Photo Hunters.

Hand-Carved Steps

I meant to post these earlier. The creek behind my in-laws property has been a place of fun and solitude for my husband's family for years. I can't really do these pictures justice with a story because I've only enjoyed the creek for the past few years, and don't have a whole lot of memories to write from. I did, however, really enjoy the ice-cold water when I was pregnant with Scamp during the steamy summer months, which prompted my Beefy hubby to hand-carve these steps down the steep bank into the creek so that everyone (especially his belly-heavy wifey at the time) could easily step down. Otherwise, we might have slid right off into the mud on our dairy aires. He has to redo them every year because the rain causes them to melt back down into sludge, and the photo above is his most recent endeavor. I would love to hear some of my hubby's tales of this creek again, so as a challenge to you, Baby, I hope you will write about your adventures on your blog.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

That's Me, Scamp, and My Daddy

From Scamp: You may have heard my Mama write that I'm my Daddy's Girl, and I am. He's my hero, and I can't wait 'til he comes home from work everyday. That's when he takes me outside, and sometimes let's me get in my pool in my clothes or diaper, or just plain buck naked. Mama always makes me put my swimsuit on.

That's my Daddy up there. Mama said it was Daddy's Day. So I put my best red dress on and picked out my best hat and purse for Daddy's special day. He always picks me up and carries me around when we're together. He's the best fun cause he always lets me stick things in his mouth. Even if it's those old green veggies Mama likes me to eat. Daddy hates them worse than I do but always eats em right up when I give em to him.

Last night after the big sickle drove by our house and made all that awful racket, I woke up thinkin I might sneak out of my bed to see that old sickle. But being in the dark, I pluncked right out of my crib onto my head. Next thing I know, I hear Daddy racin' up the stairs, turn on my light, and grab me up sobbin and all like I was. Mama came up right after him, too. I couldn't believe that sickle woke me up and made me fall out of my bed. And didn't even stop here to give me a ride after all that!

Daddy rocked me and sent Mama downstairs to fetch me a milk since I was still fussin' a bit. Being in my Daddy's arms calmed me down, and he rocked me til I was near alseep, then laid me down in my bed again.

He's a good Daddy, the best there ever was, and no one else can have him cause he's mine! Luv you, Daddy! Come home soon cause me and you have some big plans playin' together.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Long Summer Days: A Look Back on My Childhood

Scamp and I headed off to my hometown about 40 minutes from were we live to spend the day swimming with my sister and my niece and nephew. The pool is part of a hilltop camping ground hidden from the rest of the world. It's only 5 minutes from her house, and you would never know it was there. The gravel drive is nestled in a tree-lined hill off the beaten path of the main highway.

We grew up there. My mom, her two cousins and their children along with my sister and I swam and sun-bathed there several days a week during the hot, muggy summers of my childhood. The water to the pool is still ran straight out of an underground stream causing the pool to be chill-to-the-bone cold, but as a child, you get used to it. We were considered the locals along with a few other pool rats whose parent's docked a camper there every summer, feeling as though we owned the pool ourselves.

I spent most of my time under the water along with my cousins Jennifer and Tara. We were fish, only coming out of the water for a quick bite to eat or a dive into the lifeguard-free deep end. We taught ourselves to swim, me being too shy to take lessons, and dive from the side since the diving board had been removed years before. It was rumored that a young man had been killed diving from that old board, and that is why it no longer remained.

We would arrive early, 10 am, opening hours of the pool. Most of the time we were alone and could have to entire pool to ourselves at this early in the day. I remember the clear blue stillness of the water and how you could see straight to the bottom as though you were looking through one of those glass-bottom boats. Nose-pinched, I would drop straight in to the 8-foot deep, resurfacing almost instantly as I jolted from the rough, uneven bottom and back into the glaring sun to gulp a breath of air. The frigid temperatures of the water made it almost impossible to slink slowly down the hand-carved concrete steps of the shallow area.

We would swim until lunch and come sopping wet out of the water, fold a towel around our waists and plop down on the concrete benches underneath the umbrella-covered tables. Our moms always packed a lunch of sandwiches, chips, sodas, and occasionally chocolate-chip cookies. On cloudy days, the cool wind would freeze our still soaked skin and goosebumps would ripple along our arms and legs. As a rule, our moms made up wait at least 15 minutes before getting back into the pool believing we might cramp-up and drown.

After finishing our meals, we would head to the covered pavilion, and tiptoe across the smooth concrete floor trying not to slip from the water dripping off our legs and hair. The pavilion was full of wooden picnic tables, an old green covered pool table and an even older green painted ping pong table with the tiny net barely able to stand straight up. My favorite was billiards, and we always made sure our moms brought plenty of quarters for all of us to play.

Finishing up our games, we would head back over to the pool for a quick swim before we hopped back out for a favorite summertime snack, ice cream. The pool's office was built right up next to the pool, and we would run, our towels loosely wrapped around us, into the air-conditioned, arctic of a place when you're wet, office and wait our turn to fish around inside the cooler to find our favorites. Mine was usually the Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream bar, with chocolate-dipped mouse ears and a vanilla cream head on a wooden stick. We would slurp down the special treats as fast as the summer heat made us, then dive back into the pool to wash the melted, stickiness off our hands and mouths.

Around 3:00 pm, our moms would call for us to come on out and dry off before we headed back home. Mostly dry except for my blond-streaked hair plastered to my scalp and my colorful two-piece swimsuit of the summer, I would sit in the back of my mom's black Cutless. The maroon cloth-covered seats were hot to the touch just as the air inside was steaming from the humidity, which made it rather difficult to breathe. We would ride home with the windows down as the heavy breeze dried my hair.

By the end of the summer, my skin would be tanned a deep brown except for the very distinct outline of my swimsuit underneath my clothing. School would start then, and we would long for the days of summer to return.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

I finished "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" by Kim Edwards this morning. It was a pretty slow read but fairly good.

Synopsis: In 1964 Lexington, Kentucky, Dr. David Henry is forced to deliver his own baby during a sudden snowstorm. But, unexpectedly his wife has twins, the first, a healthy baby boy and the second, a daughter with Down Syndrome. In a rash decision, Dr. Henry asks the nurse present during the delivery, Caroline Gill, to secretly take his daughter to an institution while he explains to his wife that their baby girl, Phoebe, has died. Upon arriving at the dank institution, Caroline cannot bear to leave the newborn, and takes and raises Phoebe herself while Dr. Henry and his wife, Norah, raise their only son, Paul. This secret changes the lives of both families forever.

Edwards is very talented in her writing ability and is very descriptive throughout the story. However, due to the lenghtiness of the details, the first half of the book, especially, was very boring at times. I would have liked to get to where Edwards wanted to take me a little more quickly. The plot did pick up after the second half. All in all, it was a pretty good read but not on my list of favorites. It had a very small amount of language, but in my opinion, not enough to detract from the book.

My next read is "The Last Sin Eater" by Francine Rivers.

Weekend Reflection

Scamp and I were able to go swimming a couple of times this week, once with my sister, niece, and nephew and once at a local pool were we live. It brought back a lot of old memories of my cousins and I swimming when we were young.

Friday was an excruitiatingly long day for me as a SAHM. Scamp seemed to be pretty needy (she typically is), and I was emotionally exhausted. But with God's help, we were able to make it through.

We had another "Cousins Club" breakfast -- my mom, sister and some of our female cousins that we grew up with. Treva and her oldest daughter hosted it this time instead of us meeting at Cracker Barrel. The food was delicious, and we all brought vacation photos to share. Beef watched Scamp, so I could enjoy a little time off. Later, that day, Scamp and I went shopping with my mom, then Beef and my dad met us at Cracker Barrel for supper.

We had a very good Father's Day, not like Mother's Day where we spent the weekend at the hospital and doctor's office (remember lightening strike and cat bite). We were very thankful. We all got a good nap after church, then headed over to my mom's for cake and homemade ice cream.

I was accepted into an online writing class but haven't decided if it's the direction God wants me to take in pursuing my writing. If you wouldn't mind praying for God's will on this.

Join in at Judi's.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Photo Hunters: Hair

Scamp had a hair-raising good time on her cousin Alex's trampoline last fall. She hadn't learned the basics of bouncing yet, but she sure shocked us all with her static electricity.

Join in at Photo Hunters.

The Christy Challenge

Shauna at Shaunarumbling is hosting The Christy Challenge to encourage others to become acquainted with Christian fiction in order to "challenge and inspire their faith" as she is doing herself as well. The Christy Awards are given each year to "recognize excellence in Christian fiction written by contemporary authors and highlighting the breadth and diversity of Christian fiction."

In order to participate, click over to the Christy Award website, and choose one of the nominated authors and books from this year or winners from previous years, then review the book on your blog within the next month. The challenge is ongoing until July 31. Remember to comment on her blog as well to let her know you are participating and steal the button from her page for your sidebar if you'd like.

Shauna will also try to interview some of the nominated authors, so check back to her blog often for those upcoming posts.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Scratchy Cat Tales

I awoke early one morning, 5:30 am to be exact, to find I was sleeping in an very sour smelling wet spot on the bed. I jumped up, startling Matt awake, and headed toward the bathroom to fetch a clean towel. "What happened?" I wandered aloud. "Are you sure you didn't pee in the bed?" Matt asked. "Yes, I'm sure!" On second thought, "I'm not sure. Maybe."

I laid the dry towel on top of the bed and crawled back in to get a couple more hours of much needed sleep before Scamp awoke. At 7:30 am, we heard Scamp cooing through the monitor, and Matt went upstairs to bring her back down. I drug myself out of bed as well and bent down to sniff the spot in question. Scratchy!! If you've ever had an indoor cat, you know the smell of cat urine -- It's unmistakable. My soft ball of precious kitty cat had peed on me, his beloved owner.

This wasn't the first time he'd "forgotten" to use his litter box. And it's been happening more and more lately. I figured I wasn't giving him enough attention, enough one-on-one time with just me without my feisty 21-month old trying to love and pet and squeeze him. I had been trying to pick up the slack by giving him treats if he's had a rough run-in with Scamp or making sure he has a quality petting session while I'm sitting on the couch. But, it hasn't helped. And why did he pee on me? Matt's the one threatening to make him a full-time outdoor cat. I've been fighting to keep my baby kitkat inside.

Exasperated, I called the vet and made an appointment. Hopefully, he could give me insight into what's been running through kitkat's head and how I can make the bad behaviour stop. The appointment was for yesterday, 9:30 am. Matt had let Scrathcy outside as he was leaving for work. So around 9:00 am I let him back in. I wanted to make sure he was in my sight. I lugged the cat carrier out of the closet and realized it still had orange and white "Boots" hair still inside along with deep scratches marking the plastic near the carrier door. Boots was the cat that bit Scamp, and Matt had fought this beast of a feline and won, forcing him into this same carrier so that he could be taken into the pound and be tested for rabies.

I toted the carrier outside and shook all the hair out, then went back in to fetch Scrathcy. But, he was no where to be found. Frustrated, I raced from room to room, looking behind sofas and under tables, calling his name, and shaking his container of cat food. I ran upstairs and looked under Scamp's bed and even in the doored crawl spaces inside the walls in her room and the office. Scamp even helped with the search carrying a bag of kitty treats and calling "KitKaaaat! Ownt cheets." (Translation, want treats). We continued our hunt outside. "Maybe he snuck out when I went out with the cat carrier," I thought but still no Scrathcy.

I ended up having to call the vets office. The receptionist laughed at my predicament and told me to bring him in when I found him. We searched all day with no luck. Last night around 6:00 pm, on hour after the vet's office closes, Scratchy sauntered out of his hiding place. He had been in the crawl space upstairs after all. I knew I had not left the doors of the space open and wandered how he got in there.

Scamp woke up around 7:00 am this morning, and Matt wearily climbed the stairs to get her. They played for several minutes until Scrathcy found his way into her room. And upon seeing him, Scamp opened the toddler-sized eye-level view doors of the crawl space and allowed Scratchy to run inside. Matt realized that Scamp had aided kitkat in his escape. Then, I remembered she and I had looked in those same doors yesterday, and she kept motioning inside and saying "kitkat" like she knew he was in there. Scratchy prolonged his stay away from the vet this time, but tomorrow is another story. I'll find a way to get him there. . . hopefully.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Yes, Another Book Contest

Jill at Who Could Ask for Anything More is hosting a book drawing. All you have to do to sign up is comment on her site and write a post linking back to her site. This will be a monthly thing, and she's calling it Jill's Book Bag because she'll send you her new favorite book and some other goodies all in a neat little bag if you win. So cool! So hop on over to her blog.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sisterhood Movie Sequel

I was wandering if there was going to be a sequel to the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" movie. I was really surprised to find a new comment concerning the next movie from another blogger, Klearchos, who is from Greece. They are filming the sequel to the movie based on the fourth book, Forever in Blue, in his hometown of Santorini, Greece. This is the only one I haven't read yet. Klearchos has some awesome pictures of the filming including pictures of all four actresses. My favorite actress is Alexis Bledel who plays Lena in the books and Rory on the recently ended TV series Gilmore Girls.

Be sure to scroll all the way down the page at Klearchos' blog because he has some beautiful pictures of his hometown, located right on the sea. I think I will have to add Greece to my list of must-see places.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sassy Scamp

This is Sassy Scamp at her most playful. She decided that after her lunch, she would just lounge awhile. I didn't think I would ever get her out of her high chair.

After lunch, we went to Wal Mart, and I couldn't pass up this mini gardening hoe. It's fun for her now, but wait until she's big enough to really use it. Oh, I'll be putting her to work in the flower garden:)

Blog Talkers

What are your opinions on the subject of giving personal information out in your blog entries? Do you use the real names of the people you blog about? Have you ever had a bad experience with someone getting ‘too much information’? I’d like to know: Do the people that you blog about ever complain that you are blogging about them?

I would have to say I am a bit cautious when it comes to blogging about personal information. I think I'm a little more scared with all the negavtive news of online predators. I haven't mentioned Scamp's real name on my blog and probably won't. I sometimes do list others' names even some of the children in our family because I don't post very many pictures of them, so I feel more secure using their names.

I try not to post any "in-the-buff" pictures of Scamp and my nieces and nephews. I also don't include any pictures or write any info about my address. I'm even a little wary about posting specific dates like anniversaries and birthdays.

I have not had a bad experience with someone using my personal information. My cousin's husband, however, had his identity stolen, and they've had a very long trial with getting the thief to stop charging items with his name and info.

No one has ever complained to me about writing about them. Most people like that I do include them. I think it's a way to tell them how special they are to me, but I'm still cautious not to relay infomation or show pictures that they may find offensive (except once -- that I no of -- with a no make-up picture of someone else. Sorry, I didn't have another one but wanted you to be included).

Play along at Blog Talkers.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Weekend Reflection

The first half of the week I spent laying on the couch sick with a cold. I started feeling bad on Sunday. I thought it was allergies and took some off brand antihistamine, then headed to Sunday School. Of all times, during the prayer, I started feeling like I couldn't breathe and had to excuse myself right after I asked Beef to bring me some orange juice. I couldn't catch my breath so he took me home (we only live 5 minutes away) and went back to finish up SS and get Scamp. I think it was a reaction to the medicine. I felt much better when I had rested some. By Monday I realized it wasn't allergies but a full blown cold. I'm feeling much better now. Thank goodness no one else has gotten sick.

I finished a couple of books while I was sick. I don't normally have that much time to read, so it was nice.

It's been a long week for Beef and myself since I've been sick, and he's had to work long hours (from home). Scamp and I have had some girl's time due to all of this. She's her Daddy's girl when he's around, so getting in some Mommy time has been nice.

I said goodbye to a good friend today. We had lunch today along with a couple of others. She's moving back to her hometown a few hours away. It's sad to see her go, but it may be for the best. I love you, Milly!

Thank God for my family -- my hubby, Scamp, my parents and sister, all my inlaws. I don't know how I would survive without such a loving group of individuals. I am truly blessed!

How was your week? Sign up at Judi's to play along!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Photo Hunters: Shoes

It's all about the shoes! Scamp loves new shoes. If I see some cute ones in her size in the store, and try them on her, we can't leave without them because she cries to take them home. I've leaned my lesson. Don't try unless I plan to buy!

Play along at Photo Hunters.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Blog Talkers

If you had to spend one year living alone in a remote cabin, what would you spend your time doing?
(And let’s assume there is no access to Internet)

Being alone would be the perfect time for me to finish the best book I've never completely read, the Bible. I'm ashamed to say it, but I haven't finished the old testament. I've made it up to the prophets, specifically Jeremiah. I've found myself doing more "light" reading of the Bible with devotional books that concentrate on specific themes instead of just reading straight through it. There's no excuse. I just haven't made myself sit down and finish it. Of course, I would bring along lots of other books as well.

I would also focus on writing, starting first with my life story and how God has moved me to this point in my life followed by an attempt at fiction. I've been entertaining the idea lately that I would like to pursue my writing. I'm fairly comfortable with and very much enjoy writing about my life, but the more I read, the more interested I've become in making an attempt at fiction writing.

Hopefully, the secluded cabin I'm inhabiting will be next to a lake; therefore, I could enjoy lots of time in and around the water. This would be the most peaceful place to me. I think this atmosphere would be the best place to really relax and listen to God!

Play along at Blog Talkers!

All That Matters

"All That Matters" by Jan Goldstein is a heartwarming tale about 23-year-old Jennifer Stempler whose life becomes drastically depressing after losing her mother in a freak accident and being dumped by the love of her life, in addition to never really feeling loved by her estranged father. She decides the best possible fix is to off herself with a failed suicide attempt. Her beloved grandmother comes to the rescue, and they both embark on a life changing pursuit to save Jennifer's life.

The best part of the book was the budding relationship between Jennifer and her grandmother. It was a very quick read being just shy of 200 pages. By the end of the book, I felt like I wanted something more out of the story. Overall, the book was ok. It did have some language as well.

I am continuing to make my way through the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" series. I've just finished the 3rd book and will start the 4th and final book very soon. They are very similar, so I will review the last three books altogether. I'm reading the "Memory Keeper's Daughter" now.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Toddler Trio
Click the link to watch the video.

My nephews and Scamp aren't allowed (by their parent's:) to play the piano at Meme's very often. So this was quite a special occassion indeed. They formed this toddler trio and are later accompanied by their other cousin, Drew.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Book Giveway

There's a book giveaway going on at Joyful Days this week. The 5 books to be given away (in one package) will be reviewed each day. All you have to do to participate is comment on one of the reviews and link back to the rules page from your blog! So what are you waiting for?!

Grand Slam Sunday

My niece Alex was in a softball tournament this past weekend. She is a really good fielder and hitter. She plays shortstop and is the "clean up" (fourth batter) for her team. The bases were loaded, and Alex steped up to the plate. She smacked the ball deep into the outfield for a grand slam! Way to go Alex!

Weekend Reflection

We had a fairly full week. We had a fun holiday weekend and went jet skiing on Monday. Scamp was able to go swimming with some of her cousins.

Tuesday Scamp and I went swimming again with my cousin Jennifer and her son Brady. We hope to be able to swim a lot this summer.

Friday my mom kept Scamp overnight, and Beef and I had another date night. We ate out and went to see Shrek the Third. I thought it was pretty good, but I think I liked the first two better.

Scamp has been playing in her kiddie pool all week. We can't even walk outside without her wanting to get in. Beef usually just strips her down right on the spot and puts her in. It's such a funny sight!

We attended my niece Alex's softbal tournament on Sunday. I haven't seen her play for a couple of years, and she's really good. It brought back memories of when my sister and I used to play. I miss it!

I must have done too much because I've caught a cold and am not feeling well today. Scamp and Beef do not have it, and I hope they don't get it!

Play along at Judi's.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Photo Hunters: Art

God's masterpiece . . . a perfect design!

Play along at Photo Hunters!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Jungle Gym Fun

Scamp climbed into the jungle gym at Chick-a-Filet, mesmerized by the overlapping platform steps leading to the top and endless fun. The platforms were overlapped in such a way that as you pulled yourself up on one, you had to change to the opposite direction to manage the next one. Not all the steps were spaced evenly. She was just shy a couple of inches in height to be able to hoist herself up all the way to the top. But with the help of a slightly taller two year old boy who pushed her up on the taller platforms, she summitted the play apparatus.

Scamp was excited until she realized she could no longer see her beloved Mama. She froze in terror and began to wail as she searched in vain to find me. She frantically looked to either side, only seeing empty tunnels leading to anywhere but her Mama. I maneuvered my way up the ever enclosing platforms, squeezing myself in and out of the tight spaces and forcing my back into unwanted, wincing positions. I called aloud, "Baby, Mama's coming!" I finally reached the top where there was enough space for me to sit Indian-style and caress and comfort my now joyful Scamp.

I nudged her toward an opening. I wasn't about to drag her back down those stairs! In her confidence, she crawled toward one of the yellow tunnels and down a winding slide unaided by her proud Mama. Now, how was I going to get down . . . pain free?

On her second attempt at mastering the play place, she reached the top more quickly and easily with the help of her playmate Elle, a very tall, rambunctious 3 year old. They found a new play cavern at the top that overlooked the left side of the entire padded room and her onlooking Mama. Once again, another platform alluded her, and she began to cry out of fear and frustration.

This time, I sent a couple of eager seven year old girls to her rescue but when they reached her, she was being pushed up the platform from behind by her first helper, the two year old boy, and pulled from the other side of the step by her latter aid, Elle. The older girls tried to reason with the two smaller children to let Scamp go, but both protested as they wanted to finish their self-assigned task of forcing Scamp over that platform into a new play area.

I began yelling from below, "Let the girls help her," but my pleas went unheard. Therefore, I once again slinked my way up the steps to within five feet of my upset baby and her rescuers. I had to lay down and stretch myself across the upper lever floor to avoid knocking my head on the low hanging plastic ceiling just to grab her ankle and say, "Mama's here."

At first, Scamp didn't realize who was grabbing at her ankles amidst the chaos of the other children. Then, she finally caught my gaze and crawled to the safety of my arms. She settled herself down, and once again with new found confidence, left my always open lap in choice of the outstretched arms of one of the seven year old helpers. Scamp only needed a small boost of encouragement from her Mama's warm hug to find the courage to play among the now scattered but still boisterous children. I climbed out of the play gym alone thinking "Next time, she may not even need my help." My once helpless baby is becoming a "I-want-to-do-it-myself" toddler. How could these days already be at hand?