Monday, May 26, 2008

Growing Up

It's official-Elise is getting to be one of the big kids. The past few weeks have been full of all kinds of "new" this and "first" thats. We're struck by how much more patience Elise seems to muster. It hasn't been that long since one small setback would rock her world so hard she'd be a weeping puddle on the floor. It's been a very long time since she would willingly try new foods without serious coercion-well over two years. And now here we are, wondering who is this kid who keeps trying difficult things and diversifying her diet.

We headed to a park yesterday to picnic and just generally hang out. It was extraordinarily confusing for us to sit on a bench and watch Elise play instead of being subjected to weeping when suggesting that she could probably figure out the slide on her own. We were then dumbfounded to see her actually SITTING ON A SWING. And TRYING TO MAKE IT GO. Elise has wept at the merest suggestion of swings since she was big enough to sit in one. A couple of weeks ago, she met a kid at our nearby park who was swinging in one of the baby swings, and she wanted to try it. It was ok, and she seemed to have fun. This climbing onto a regular swing all by herself and actually attempting to use it was unprecedented. I have no idea what prompted her to give it a go, but I'm so proud of her!

Of course, there is also a whole lot of climbing of new things which should also be given its due. There is a climbing wall at the park that she can now do on her own, and she tried something similar at this park yesterday. And she's confident about various kinds of ladders. And she runs and jumps across the wiggly bridge-like thing on play structures. I know a whole lot of parents who take this kind of thing for granted, but that has never been our style. Conquering this fear of trying new things, especially physical new things, has taken a whole lot of persistent effort. I have no idea what changed to make this click, but for the moment I don't care. Our daughter now has fun at the park! I see a lot more park time in our future.

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