We stopped by the little free library and grabbed some stories to read between games of tag.
Phoebe has become demandingly independent recently, screaming and squirming to be put down so she can use her own two feet instead of being carried. When we arrived at the park there was no way she was going to allow us to strap her into the stroller, so we played at the park before going on our walk.
When the kids started their game of tag, I was initially pushing Phoebe in the swing, but then Alexander was it and no one would let him get them, so I joined in and let him tag me, and then played around with the kids for a while. And then I stopped playing to push Phoebe in the swing some more.
Keeping everyone happy is a real balancing act!
Soon it was Alexander's turn to be "It" again and when he'd given up trying to catch his siblings (who don't understand the art of being difficult enough to catch that Alexander still feels like he's triumphant when he tags them...but slow enough to catch that he actually can tag them), it was time—once again—for me to shine.
I fake him out on the left, faked him out on the right, bolted around him, hopped up on the wall...lost my footing...and crashed to the ground.
It was a spectacular fall.
The wall, for the record (why am I putting this in the record?!), wasn't that tall. It's just...like...maybe two or three stair steps high? So I ended up, like, on my belly on the "higher" tier of the playground, with my legs kind of on the lower tier of the playground.
My face was resting in the wood chips and my entire body was screaming in agony.
Alexander rushed up to me, smacked me—hard—on the butt, and hollered, "YOU'RE IT!"
I was like, "Neat. Thanks for that."
The bigger kids were all starting to gather around, a little bit worried about me, but also a little skittish since...you know...I was now "It."
Miriam got the closest.
"Are you okay?" she asked the back of my head.
But when I started peeling myself off the ground to face her she screamed and ran away.
I finished getting off the ground (obviously) and limped over to the bench.
"I'm out," I said. "I'm not playing anymore. Guys, I hurt so bad!"
The palms of my hands still sting from slapping the ground so hard (one of the rings I wore got all chewed up from the cement. My arms are sore. My ribs are sore. I have scrapes down my right thigh. But the worst is my left knee, which is swollen and bruised and scraped up.
So that was embarrassing.
But to even the score, I pulled another epic mom rescue! I was sitting on the bench reading while the kids continued to play tag without me. The benches at this park are low enough that Phoebe can climb onto them all by herself (which is interesting because at the park just down the road the benches are so high that when I sit on them I can swing my legs like a three-year-old on a church pew). Anyway, she would climb up with a book, sit and read it for 0.2 seconds, climb down, get a new book, climb back up, sit and read for 0.2 seconds, climb down...
It was really more about the climbing for her than the reading, I think.
But one time she climbed up on the bench and as she was turning around to sit down beside me, she misjudged where the end of the bench was and started toppling.
I shot my arm out and grabbed her ankle, which didn't really stop her from falling backwards—she flopped right over the bench—but I did keep her from hitting her head on the cement. Barely!
Rachel helped me finish rescuing her and said there was less than a finger space between Phoebe's head and the ground. Phoebe was just dangling there, happy as a lark, but wondering how she got that way.
So, one epic failure, and one epic win.
Not a bad day at the park!
On the way to the park I had promised the kids I wouldn't make them run laps because we'd just been sick (though I did make them walk laps with me), but told them that we'd be running next week. On the way home from the park I amended that statement to inform them that they'd hopefully be back to running next week but I...I might be walking for a while.
We'll see how sore I am tomorrow. I'm not feeling great tonight.
And, speaking of being sick (since I forgot to include this story in the post I did about all the funny things Alexander's been saying), Alexander was doing something gross at the dinner table this past week (or the week before) that Rachel just couldn't stand. He must have been wiping his nose up and down his arm or making big snotty-sniffling noises.
"Alexander!" she snapped. "Could you just get a tissue or something?! That's so disgusting!"
"Even though," he began his retort (he starts 90% of his sentences with "even though" these days). "That tracks...because I'm sick!"
Everyone started laughing because it was so funny to hear him say "that tracks" so soon after saying that something was "sus."
He's such a hip-talking young man!