There are two unwritten rules about playgrounds:
- older little girls try to help little kids out (who do their best to ignore them)
- the little boys want to hang out with the older boys (who do their best to ignore them)
Yesterday there was a herd/flock/gaggle/clutch of three older boys (i.e. 5 or 6 years old) playing when we arrived. Zane went through the motions of climbing up the platform and sliding down, but always with an eye towards the noisier, more active babble-o-boys. He even started saying “Hi!” whenever he got the chance, but they pretty much ignored him. Eventually the boys all ended up in a pile on the bridge section and Zane was able to climb up nearby without being crushed. They jumped up and down and shouted, Zane jumped up and down and shouted (well, squealed). They dramatically fell down on their butts, Zane simulated falling down on his butt … dramatically. He was fitting right in.
Eventually one of the boys left and it turned out that two older boys is a more manageable number for a two year old to blend in with. They didn’t try to stomp him (like some boys last year) and even seemed to show respect and patience for his speed of moving and climbing. To honor them Zane learned how to climb up the big slide all by himself. Later, after they left and a younger pair of kids were at the playground, he even talked me into helping him slide down and climb up the fire-pole.
Later in the evening, when Faith and I were all worn out and the dog was a noodle-headed basket case, Zane was good enough to take over watching Raz by playing keep away around the couch area. Luckily, unlike on Sunday, he walked away without getting a new fat lip.