Week 20: “Up the Steps,” More Blocks, and the Slide Loop

Next to where I stay most of the week in WV at the Highwater Inn, there is a good-sized field of grass, David and I play there, and while the Inn owner doesn’t own it it’s FEMA-owned or something like that so he can use it for parking and someone comes to mow it every now and then and it won’t ever be built on. Across the field (from the street-side; standing on the sidewalk, the Inn is on the left and the field to the right) is a wall made of crumbling old masonry. Beyond that, another road comes down from right to left such that the wall, and various iron railings to keep those on it from falling to the field below, would be on one’s left as one drove from right to left, downhill, to the Inn.

David enjoys a particular routine most days I pick him up and take him there (parking on the left of the field near the Inn, as viewed from the sidewalk). He always wants to play “catch daddy on the grass,” and we do; and we ramble toward the right edge where there is a wall coming out at right angles that has fallen apart to be like steps. I lift David up to the highest brick-step we can put him on, and he jumps to daddy a couple times (and there tends to be random paper plates around, and feral cats, so he’ll frequently observe, “What a mess!”) Then on our way back to the Inn he climbs up on a smaller wall (maybe a couple feet high) and walks along it, stepping up to balance on a narrower line of cinder-blocks all the way to a mess of ivy where he again jumps to daddy. Near here the road is low enough (six feet?), and there is a gap in the railing, so that I can lift him “up on top” and he can gleefully hurl himself into space and again have daddy catch him, which we do a few times. (There’s a lot of jumping to daddy in this routine!) Finally, there’s another narrow wall right next to the downhill road that I help him climb onto and he balances on it (with me holding my hand), ending with a final jump to daddy at the end. (I tried to skip that last wall once, and it did not go over well!)

We built with blocks a couple days; he likes to keep the colors together. If I try to mix colors, he assiduously reaches over and puts the colors back where they belong.

This may have been the first week he climbed up the ladder on the jungle gym at the Twin Falls playground himself–in the past I’d lift him up or help him–and slid down by himself. He was looping around just fine, but still likes a lot of reassurance from daddy. When he was much younger he was very bold about sliding, and then he got skittish, and now he’s back to it most of the time.

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