Today, the temperature hit 60, which felt more like 80 to my sad Buffalo winter skin, and Marleigh and I ventured out of the house and made our way to the neighborhood playground for some fresh air.
I put her in the stroller since our neighborhood doesn't have many sidewalks for her to run on, and we chit-chatted the whole way there. Marleigh told me what color all of the trees are, pointed out doggies playing their yards, and made me well aware of the goldfish she was snacking on, and all the while, I was thinking to myself how much I absolutely love this stage of her life right now. She's my little companion, my best friend.
We got to the playground and made our way through the mud with me pushing the stroller awkwardly over the bumpy terrain until we reached the swings. I grabbed her out of the stroller and looked at her before I put her in the baby swing, and all of the sudden she looked like a baby again. Just for that split second, I was holding my squishy, chubby-cheeked little Marleigh, and I almost lost it right then and there. I immediately stopped what I was doing to give her a big hug and kiss, and then snapped out of it and put her in the swing. She had fun with it for approximately 1 minute and then was asking to get up, so I obliged and let her wander around the stones on the playground for a while.
Next, we decided to try the slides. "Red slide!" "Blue slide!" I wasn't sure how it would go over since she can be a little wimpy sometimes when it comes to adventurous things (a side she definitely gets from her mommy!) but we were brave and climbed the "biiiig stairs" all the way to the red spiral slide at the end of the playground. Marleigh sat on my lap and giggled the whole way down, asking to do it again and again...and again. Needless to say, I got my cardio in with climbing those stairs 50 times!
Eventually we got the courage to go down the blue slide (one of the slides that's enclosed all the way around so I wasn't nervous about her falling off.. I'm a worrier!). I placed her on the ledge at the top and told her to wait until she saw me at the other end to go down. I ran down the steps and counted to three, and before I knew it, my brave little girl was at the bottom with the biggest smile on her face! Cue mini meltdown number two. Blame it on the pregnancy hormones. Since when is my baby big enough to go down slides by herself? She didn't even really need me to catch her at the bottom! Time has flown way too fast for my liking.
Marleigh went down that blue slide at least 10 times before we made our way back to the stroller to get home for nap time. Each time she smiled bigger and giggled louder than the last. I think the playground is going to be a favorite destination this spring and summer - and it works out perfectly that it's only a 5 minute walk away!
I'm so proud of my big girl, but whether she likes it or not, I'm going to try in every way possible to keep her my baby just a little bit longer ;)