Sunday, August 25, 2013

Camp Mommy

This last week and a half, Naama and I have spent a lot of solo time together and it's been great!
She's still casted, but that hasn't stopped her for a minute! She's a little energizer bunny, crawling everywhere and recently toe walking with her cast. Every time I see her walk on her cast, I cringe, but she seems oblivious to the cast on her leg.

We've played with all her toys, built Lego towers and made all sorts of shapes out of play dough but I wanted her to have more outdoor time, so I've been taking her to the mini park in our apartment complex instead of taking her to the main playground. For one, there's shade in the mini park and two, I can handle putting Naama on and taking her off the toys there. Being able to spend time alone in the park with Naama is so liberating for me and makes me so happy. It's just us...and her teddy bear=) I sing her songs as she does the actions to the songs while swinging around in the carousel and the boat swing. 

Naama also loves the slide. The first time I put her on it, I supported her as she slid down, but the way I had my arm around her as she slid down was uncomfortable for both of us because as she slid down, my arm would catch her near her head. On our second run I realized Naama didn't need my help down the slide anymore. She's a big girl she can do it herself and she did... again and again and again. I happily lifted her back up the slide each time she looked at me with a her big blue eyes, a huge smile, and said "more"??

I feel so happy knowing that I put that smile on her face. Fun time with mommy, not fun time with mommy and someone else. I know it's silly to think this way, but that's how I feel. Being able to do these activities ALONE with Naama makes me feel whole, not disabled.

Naama and I would pass an hour in the park each day easily. Now instead of dreading walking Doggie knowing Naama wanted to play and I couldn't let her, I looked forward to our park time each day.

Yesterday, I braved the main playground with her. I haven't taken her there in a long time since she walked right out of the park a few months ago. I eventually caught her, but with cars flying down the road very often, that one incident was enough to keep me from taking her to the main playground on my own.

Since yesterday was Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, there were no cars on the street, so I wasn't afraid to take her to the playground, plus even if she tried walking out, how far was she really gonna get with a cast on her leg?

When we got to the park there weren't that many kids there, so Naama had free reign on the slides. Shortly after we arrived, my neighbor came with her kids. As soon as Naama saw my neighbor, she wanted her to take her from slide to slide. Naama refused to let me carry her or help her crawl up the slide! Smart cookie my Naama. She knows mommy's not 100% 

Eventually Naama warmed back up to me. At first I was nervous about being able to lift her high enough to reach the slide platform while maintaining my balance, but at barely 20 LBS, Naama is so light, I really didn't have to worry about that. I was very steady on my feet. Each time I lifted her it got easier. Naama was having so much fun crawling through the tube slide and sliding down the slides, I don't even think she remembered she had a cast on even though I reminded her several times to be careful. 

Soon more kids and parents arrived and eventually the park was packed. Ordinarily, I would've taken that as my cue to leave. I didn't think I could handle playing with Naama with so many kids around. All I needed was for one of them to knock into me as I was lifting or carrying her, and I was scared a kid may step on her cast, but Naama was having so much fun I didn't have the heart to take her away.

I'll just be extra careful.

Naama was so busy going from one thing to the next I didn't really have time to think, I only had time to do!
In the midst of all the other kids, I lifted, carried and slowly walked with Naama around the playground. I put her in line for the twisty slide and lifted her up again for another round. I was on my feet for over an hour! I was exhausted and parched. I forgot to bring water with me, so I quickly undid Naama's sippy cup and drank from there before going back to play.
At one point I thought WOW!! I cant believe it! Look at me here in the park with Naama together with all these kids. I can handle this! I NEVER thought I'd be able to accomplish such a thing!

When we went back home, I happily told my husband about my accomplishment and then let him take over Naama duty while I took some me time.

Today we went to both parks again. When it was time for Naama's nap, I got a bit nervous because I didn't have anyone to help me put her in her crib for a nap and after falling with her when she resisted me once before, I have always had my husband or a neighbor around for a few minutes just to put her in her crib after I nurse her, but no one was available today. I have put Naama down successfully before, but not often, so I wasn't confident, but figured I'd deal, even if it meant holding Naama for an hour as she napped.

Naama was wiped from the park, so it didn't take her long to fall asleep. I shifted Naama so we were chest to chest and I slowly got out of the rocking chair. Naama gave a small cry and tightened her grip around my neck, which actually made it easier to lift her as I stood up. Thankful that she is so light, I slowly walked the few steps over to her crib and lay her down softly. The trick is to put her in her crib while she's at least half asleep, that way she's too tired to resist me=)

With a proud smile, I covered my sleeping baby and walked out of her room. 

Naama starts a new daycare this week. I'm happy my social butterfly will get to interact with other kids, but I'll miss our mornings in the park.