When you’re a parent, you inherently have an undercurrent of emotions that run through you on a constant basis – worry, joy, frustration, confusion, fear. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to get bonus feelings like pride.
Tonight was one of those nights for me.
It’s currently a one hundred million degrees outside – too hot to run around and really play as a kid. So after dinner I took Isabella to the mall so she could play on the indoor playground.
I both love and loathe this place.
On the one hand, it’s a nice option for too hot, rainy, snowy or windy days. And it adds some variety. On the other hand, there are always kids in there that are too big and run around like crazy, creating chaos. I ALWAYS worry that Isabella will get knocked over by one of them.
Usually Munchkins approaches these play areas with hesitation. She watches the kids for a bit before deciding to jump in. Not tonight! She ran right in and got to the business of playing!
Proud moment #1.
She also is somewhat intimidated by slides. She will go down but with our assistance. She did that tonight but then decided she wanted to go all by herself. And she did – 3 times!
Proud moment #2.
Then she ran over and shimmied up another obstacle, going all the way to the top for the first time!
Proud Moment #3.
Then it happened. As she was walking around on one of the taller pieces of equipment, holding my hand, I told her I had to let go in order to get to the other side. As soon as I let go, a bigger kid ran by and knocked in to her. I saw her teeter on the edge of this thing, probably 4 feet in the air and I reached out to grab her but I was too late. She fell and landed flat on her face and tummy.
Every parent in the place stopped and gasped.
I think I squeaked out a little “oh no!”
Isabella started crying.
The boy ran off.
I grabbed her and carried her off to the corner, away from everyone else. She was more scared than hurt (me too). She had hit her chin, forehead and elbows. No bruises or anything. Just shock.
My fear had come true.
But I knew that the most important thing was to get her back out there playing so that she didn’t develop a phobia. I gave her the option to keep playing or sit and watch. She chose to play!
Proud moment #4.
As someone with many fears in my own life, I know how hard it is to get back on the proverbial horse after having fallen off. I was so proud of her for doing just that!
I rewarded her with a cookie (only giving her a piece of it) and some Bug Juice.
She even rode up the escalator all by herself (well, while holding my hand).
On the way out we stopped by the Foto booth to take some fun pictures.
Disclaimer: Normally I look nicer than this when going out in public but I had gone to the gym after work and this is my post-workout look. I didn’t bother to clean myself up between the gym, home and the mall because I didn’t really care how I looked for the play area. Didn’t realize it would be documented for life!
Just goes to show that in life, we all take some spills. It’s how we get up and dust ourselves off that is the important part.
And I’m proud to say, Isabella did just fine.