At mid-day on Tue, May 1, 2018, Gabbie and I walked to the playground area, located on the grounds of Elmhurst Elementary School, which is a part of the Toledo Public School system.
CP had an appointment in the area, and she dropped Gabbie off at our house around 10:00 a.m. Since Deb worked from home too that day, we both took turns watching Gabbie.
First, Gabbie explored first floor of our house. Her form of playing is taking apples out of the basket and placing them on the floor and back into the basket. She likes to remove books from our living room shelf. She grabbed things from my lower desk table and dropped the items on the floor. She poked at the lights on the router. Since our house is not Gabbie-proof, we have to keep an eye on her.
She liked the lights on the Amazon Echo when it rebooted, and she tried to walk off with the Echo. She liked to twist on and off the round light bulbs on our wooden Christmas tree that we bought a couple Decembers ago from Shared Lives Studio, located in downtown Toledo.
Deb and Gabbie explored the backyard. Gabbie was disinterested in sitting on the swing. Dandelions have started blooming. Deb picked a dandelion and gave it to Gabbie who tossed it to the ground. Gabbie liked to play in the dirt and pick up small, broken sticks. She liked the acorn hats, placed on her fingers. She wandered around our backyard, checking things out. She's super curious about everything.
Then around 11:05 to 11:10 a.m., Gabbie and sauntered to the Elmhurst school playground. It was a slowish walk. I picked her up at times to keep moving. When she walked, she liked to wander around and pick things up from the ground.
We finally made it to the school playground area at around 11:22 a.m. I thought that recess began at 11:30 a.m., but after only a minute of hanging by one of the outdoor play equipment areas, the kindergarten and/or first grade kids streamed out of the building.
Before the kids entered the outside, Gabbie was head down poking in the dirt. When the kids came outside, Gabbie stood up, stared, and started smiling. Then she walked toward the stream of kids.
A teacher/monitor told me simply to watch out for the kids running around. Gabbie was not intimidated. She was interested in the kids.
And some kids were interested in Gabbie. A crowd of at least a half-dozen kids, mainly girls around six-years-old formed around Gabbie. At times, I could not see Gabbie because of the mob around her.
The girls held Gabbie's hands and led her around the playground area. Sometimes, Gabbie does not want her hands held, including by me. She let me and the school girls know that Gabbie wanted to walk on her own.
With all the kids and the yelling and running around, Gabbie at times let out loud, happy yells. We wandered all over with the girls. Gabbie even tried to climb up some bars. She understood how it worked.
I placed her on the slide and let her slide down, but she seemed unimpressed. She forcefully resisted being placed in the toddler swing. She straightened her body rigid and fought it.
The one area of equipment was packed with kids, both on top of the equipment and running around underneath, and Gabbie wandered right into the middle of it all, especially underneath. Then she tried to climb the curved metal ladder-like bars.
The kids went inside at around 11:50 a.m. They returned to the building in a line, and Gabbie followed, like she wanted to hang with the "big" kids. I had to redirect her back to the playground area.
Then "older" kids came out, probably second graders or older. We started to leave. We were out of the playground area, but Gabbie walked back toward to the playground area.
We met someone CP knows. She pushed her daughter Izzy who was 10-months-old. Gabbie wanted to push the stroller. Izzy enjoyed the swing. I tried to place Gabbie into the swing, but it went bad. I tried harder than earlier, getting Gabbie into the swing, but she started crying.
I removed Gabbie from the swing and let her stand on the ground, and she was grumpy. She wandered around like a mad rooster.
More kids came outside, so we all left. Gabbie enjoyed pushing the stroller (helping to push the stroller.) She liked pushing the stroller more than going down the slide and getting on the swing.
But Gabbie definitely enjoyed her short-term friends. Her groupies. Her entourage. Her tour guides. Hilarious.
We arrived back home around 12:05 p.m. I carried her home all the way. We were both warm. The sky was clear. Very low humidity. Sun felt intense. Gabbie did not have a hat. An hour in the sunshine at mid-day was enough. Neither one of us wore sunscreen. Temps were around 80 degrees at Noon. Warm and windy. Very dry. We were both warm and ready for water when we arrived home.
We were only gone for about an hour, but we packed in the fun.