Today saw PATH's monthly social at the Savage Park picnic ground/playground area. Jacob and I went to have a good time with other stay-at-home parents and their children.
It was a new park so I was hoping that Jacob would like to try out new things and maybe some old things that were new variations. This park had nice climbing structures, a couple of fun slides and some swings. Instead of mulch, the ground was covered with this new, soft pseudo-concrete that is all the rage with parks these days. Since PATH was hosting the social, members also brought some fun activities: a kiddie miniature golf set with three holes, a bean bag toss, bubble mix and wands, pinwheels, sidewalk chalk, and a treasure hunt table.
Jacob showed no interest at all in the slides, swings and climbers, just like our local parks. Since there was no mulch to pick up and give to people, he decided to hand out pieces of sidewalk chalk to whoever would take them. Most everyone got one or more pieces (except me, even when I begged for it!). He then discovered the treasure hunt table, which was a toddler-height play table with little toys like plastic rings and little plastic animals buried in bird seed. Most of the kids enjoyed searching through for a little bit. Jacob became a permanent fixture of the table. He didn't so much want to find treasure as to spread around the bird seed wherever he could. I tried to get him away once and he had a little fit. I tried to coax him with food and apple juice but he just let me bring those to him at the table. He had a good time, so I guess I can't blame him.
Finally, he tired of the table and walked back over where the chalk and bubble mix were. Once he got hold of a bubble wand, he did not want to let go. He did manage to get some bubbles to form when he frantically waved it in the air. He also managed to spill the bubble mix all over the concrete border of the playground. Luckily, the other kids didn't get soaked. When I took him away from there, he made it clear that he was ready for his nap by pretending that I was the worst parent for taking him away from the bubble mix. Guilt-trip crying is starting to backfire, though; it's only toughing me up, even though I feel a little ashamed in front of the other parents. Until I realize that they are probably on my side!
Jacob got his nap at home and had a fun afternoon of hanging out in the backyard and playing with Mommy when she got home. He even enjoyed some leftover Guinness beef stew for dinner. Now he is sleeping sweetly, hopefully till late tomorrow morning.