Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Impromptu Big Day Out

Yesterday, Cadence and I had our very last Shape Up With Baby class, which Cadie had really outgrown before the class even started.  I don't think the age limit they put on the class accounted for babies who are consistently about a month ahead of schedule in terms of development, which I then failed to account for when I signed up for it.  It said 6 weeks to 9 months, but should have said 6 weeks until mobile.  Cadence was 8 months at the start and was already crawling, and at our last class yesterday, she was walking.  Oops!  Well, we had fun, even if we didn't really do what the other moms and kids were doing.  (The most mobile, other than Cadence, was able to wiggle off his matt in the space of five or ten minutes.)  In honor of her 'Graduation', I brought the camera along and tried to catch a few shots between moves. And chasing after her, of course.

Notice how my 'baby' is having nothing to do with the passive activities all the other babies were, my little lady was dancing right along with all the mommies!  After watching her follow along and do a bunch of stretches, (and then then take it a step farther and lead some child's pose and thread-the-needle,) our teacher invited us to attend her yoga class.

After class was done, we picked up Baba and headed to central park for a spur-of-the-moment picnic in central park.  While we do this fairly often when the weather is nice, it is still a big deal each time we go, since this 'nature' [I know, I know, central park is man made, but its the closest we get and frankly, the flora and fauna is all still real!] stuff is so different from the New York City streets that we call home, and it takes Cadence some time to adjust to the leafy, green surroundings.

Of course, there was the requisite poking at the dirt (with a straw):

I love this next picture.  It's the first time Cadence  has ever really gotten to examine a real live tree, up close.  I think she might see the same beauty that I am still struck with whenever I take the time to really take in the life we so easily take for granted.

Enough with the sentimentality, says Cadie!  Number one!  Yeah! way to rock the sunglasses, girl.

As if the day hadn't been full enough; a new adventure was just starting!  Our picnic spot happened to be just up a hill from this great little playground.  It's just across the street from the maternity ward where our little lady was born, (I could even see it from my window!) and I used to pass it as I walked through the park after prenatal visits with my midwife.  I'd revel in the excited anticipation of getting to bring my own little one for a day of climbing, sliding, and swinging someday.  I don't think I ever guessed I'd be doing so within the year, but...

Well, she may be a little young, but Boy, what a hit!!!  She figured out almost instantly that she could climb and walk and play with the bars on the structure, and it wasn't long before she saw the other kids using the slide and wanted to explore it herself.  For her introductory venture, she went down with Baba:  

She looks understandably concerned in the picture, but once she got to the bottom she broke into this huuuuge smile.  The one thing that did go wrong the whole day was that we kept missing the smiles by milliseconds, and thus in most of the pictures she looks somewhat contemplative, rather than exuberantly happy, which followed each bout of intense concentration.

She even made a friend!  She played a wobbly version of chase with a little boy who would play for a while, then duck behind his brother, then they'd all go off and do their own thing for a bit, then start the whole thing over again.  It was incredibly cute, and oddly gratifying to watch.

It was a very busy afternoon.  She bopped from one thing... [I swear she's shouting with glee here, but the photo makes it llook like a scream] another, going from the baby stuff...

to the big kid stuff, getting more adventurous at every turn.  For example, she went from the little slide you saw earlier, to with Mama on the big slide:

...To 'by herself' on the [little] fast slide!

To cap off our exposition here, we'll leave you with one final journey.  Up the whole structure (look at her go!  We followed, never steered [except of course away from dangers] the journey was entirely of her own design!):

...And then down the big, fast slide!! (with Mama, of course.)

All in all, I think it was a pretty derned successful day.  Happy first playground adventure, Cadence!