Rachel was an absolute gem during sacrament meeting yesterday.
She fell asleep in her stroller while Andrew and I were running around trying to get everything together. Sometimes she gets a little impatient to get going and if I put her in the stroller she calms down a bit because she knows that she's communicated her wants.
She sat very patiently for about five minutes and then she dozed off.
She was still sleep when we got to church so we decided to just wheel her into the back of the chapel. There were three baby blessings in our ward, however, so we ended up wheeling her halfway down the cultural hall.
Rachel slept clear through the first baby blessing, and then she sat on my lap and cuddled me in a post-nap stupor halfway through the passing of the sacrament until she snapped out of her drowsy state and almost grabbed the water tray out of Brother Robertson's hand.
Other than that little outburst, and a few squawks at other babies, she was the perfect angel child all through church. On the one hand, this was really nice because we could actually pay attention and didn't feel quite as distracting as usual. On the other hand, it meant that Rachel was rather hyper when we got home since she kept all her wiggles in during church.
We went to the park to help get those wiggles out before bedtime. At first Rachel just played by herself--sampling every other piece of grass, chasing little fluffies floating in the air, and finding random bits of garbage--during which time Andrew was giving me an Arabic lesson.
Eventually Rachel got bored and wandered over to find us, successfully wedging herself in the crossbars of the picnic table we were sitting at. With a few tears and tugs we got her out and she and Daddy went to wrestle in the grass.
I'm not much of a wrestler but I used to do gymnastics and I had a sudden urge to turn a cartwheel. It's been a while since I've done that and I was feeling so summery...so I turned a cartwheel.
Rachel clapped her hands.
"Do two in a row!" Andrew urged me.
So I turned another cartwheel, and another, and another. Then I did some round offs, some more cartwheels, and some forward and backward rolls (aka somersaults). I was afraid to try anything more challenging since I really haven't done any gymnastics in years, but what I did was exhilarating and I felt young and energetic again.
Even Andrew tried a somersault, but we found out that this big, strong man, who will jump off cliffs and fly on airplanes, suffers a little from what he calls "suppressed vertigo." He's afraid that he'll get stuck upside down while turning over and won't be able to get right way up.
"You're on the ground. You're not going to get stuck," I tried to reason with him, to no avail.
Since he wouldn't try anymore and Rachel was getting a little sleepy, we packed up our stuff and tried to put Rachel in the stroller. But she was still much too wound up to sit still long enough to buckle her in, so I ended up carrying her about halfway home until she squirmed to get out of my arms.
We put her down and let her push the stroller. That meant we had to walk very s-l-o-w-l-y.
It also meant that it gave us more time to notice our complaining bodies.
"Wow," I noted, scratching my legs, "I'm all itchy from the grass."
"Me, too," said Andrew, giving his arm a good rubdown.
"And I think I'm kind of dizzy from all those cartwheels."
"Yeah," said Andrew humbly. I know he was thinking about how dizzy he was from trying to do a somersault, but he didn't want to say that because he had failed so miserably.
"Do you remember when we could play outside in the grass all day?" I asked.
"Yeah," Andrew agreed, "Without getting itchy."
"And be able to turn a hundred cartwheels without getting dizzy," I added.
Rachel was busy pushing her stroller as fast as she could, which wasn't very fast. She didn't seem to be suffering any ill effects from playing outside. In fact, she pushed that stroller past seven houses without stopping to scratch once, although she did make a stop to grab a handful of soil from someone's garden (sorry, neighbor!).
I feel so old! It's my birthday month, so I guess I'm entitled to be worrying about how old I am. The sad thing is that I'm not even that old...I just can't do the things I could do when I was ten anymore.
Today I turned a few more cartwheels while Rachel and I were out. Perhaps turning cartwheels will turn back the clock... Oh, to be young again!