One thing we're really loving about our new neighborhood is all the kid friendly places to visit. We haven't even scratched the surface as far as exploring goes, but we've already come across several fun playgrounds that Ez loves. Also, it's about ten degrees cooler here than where we used to live, so we can actually venture outside during daylight hours. Win/win!
The first park is right behind our house and Ez's favorite thing to do there is race his cars down the slide. Wherever Ez goes, at least four cars go along too. (My purse is basically the hot wheel aisle of Toys R Us with a few snacks and diapers thrown in for good measure.) Pretty much all the neighborhood kids play there, so I'm hoping Ez will meet his future bff in no time.
We also visited Happy Hollow, which has a small zoo, a few carnival type rides, and a huge playground. Ez absolutely wore himself out running around, and since 60% of my job as a parent is to tire out my toddler enough so that he'll nap/sleep, we will definitely be back.
There's a pretty big mall near us which has a run of the mill play area. Nothing super special about it, but sometimes you just need an indoor area for your kid to run off some energy and this fits the bill. Ez is definitely getting to a more social age, where I can tell he wants to play with the kids he meets, but he's also shy and doesn't know how to interact with them. Last time we went to the mall playground he just sat and watched the kids running in circles and screaming for a little bit and he tried dragging me along at first but finally he branched out and just went for it, running all over the place and screaming like a little banshee. That's basically the Ez we know and love at home, so it was nice to see him let his guard down and be himself around other kids.
Also, can I just say that as a parent of one of the littlest kids on a playground it's really hard to sit back and watch your kid be nearly trampled by kids twice his age? I totally get that. But while we were there a mom was hovering over her daughter and grabbing other kids that accidentally knocked into her and yelling at them. It was like seeing all your crazy mama bear instincts play out in real life and it wasn't pretty. So I'm definitely gonna stick with my method of suffering mini heart attacks on the inside while trying to appear calm on the outside. Much better for Ez's image, I'm sure. So, to older Ez, if you're reading this, you're welcome for not having the craziest parent on the playground.