I took advantage of a beautiful day and my daughter being out of school and made good on the promise I’d made her the day before that if she’d just leave me alone while I was there wallowing in the tummy bug she’d shared with me, I would take her to the park the next day.
Of course, promising a trip to the park wasn’t QUITE enough to satisfy my daughter — who was so bored by that point that she was writhing on the floor next to my bed whining, “I’m so bored I could PEE the word bored!” — that I promised her a picnic, too. She perked up a little at that, but wasn’t quite finished with her negotiating skills and got me to agree to allow a friend to go.
She was so excited to load up the picnic basket with healthy snacks. (That healthy-eating brainwashing they’re doing in elementary school now is starting to pay off!) She threw in two apples, two boxes of raisins, two snack bags of Cheez-Its, and two bottles of water. I, of course, had to throw in, “Y’all want some chicken fingers?” Mama keeps it REAL!! And off we go to the rich people park.
Let’s face it, the rich people park is better. Do you know they’ve invented this playground surface that bounces when you walk on it? So when a kid busts it, he bounces right back up! That is, unless he’s a 4-year-old riding his scooter on the sidewalk who comes up behind me and I end up side-swiping him with my beach bag loaded with a picnic paraphernalia. He hit that pavement elbow first and started WAILING, and all I could think was, “I’ve just hurt a rich kid who has his own lawyer!!” But fortunately for me, this particular rich kid was left in the care of a nanny who had propped herself up with a gaggle of other nannies who had no clue as to where the kids they were minding were at the moment. So I picked him up and apologized profusely. I checked his elbow and offered to kiss it for him. I gave him a tissue to wipe his snotty nose. And then he and the other 4-year-olds not being minded by their nannies all went on about their business of having fun.
After that potential lawsuit was averted, I turned to see my daughter perched on the wall, legs crossed, shoulders curled up to frame her head which was tilted at an angle as she was staring at the group of older boys attempting to fish in the rich people park pond. She was mesmerized! I asked her what she was doing, and she nodded her head towards the boys and gave me a smirk. Aw, yeah…….My daughter has full-on discovered BOYS! Now the little friend she brought along to the rich people park? Not interested. Said she was too shy to talk to boys and she wanted to go back to the swings. But EK was having NONE of that! “I’M not shy!” she said. Oh really?
So I asked the boys if they were fishing with bait. They weren’t. Boys…….So I told them I had some Cheez-Its they could crumble up that might attract some fish to the surface and they went all “Awesome!!” on me. And then I asked EK if she’d like to take the crackers over to them. “Yessssss!!”
Now I’m sorry if some people think I should have been giving her the “You’re too young to be looking at boys!” speech and that same old tired “Boys are yucky!” routine, but I think it’s adorable that my daughter is starting to get giddy when she sees a cute boy! I’ll leave the “knuckle sandwich” threats to her daddy.
So after EK delivered the crackers — no conversation, it was merely a transaction — and she was so proud of herself. By this time, her friend was over it and skipped back over to the swings. And I settled down on a bench and watched as my daughter climbed up a tree and stared at the boys as they tried to catch fish with Cheez-Its. You couldn’t have pulled her away. And I loved it.
I’m thinking this rich people park could become our THING.