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Summer has resurrected itself here in Ottawa. So after daycare this morning, Ingrid and I went to her favourite park for a little play time. As usual this time of day it was vacant.

It is so fun and interesting to see how Ingrid has grown through her interests in the park alone. In the early days, she was content to sit in the swing and eat sand. Later, her shyness kept her from exploring without having to be carried or needing to crawl back into my arms the moment another child came within a ten foot radius of us. I recall endless hours of sitting in the sand together filling bucket after bucket, only to have Ingrid come and sit on my lap in the sand when another child approached. Then, finally, she branched out. Still skittish and reluctant to play with the other children, she now doesn't need me to climb all over the play structure with her and sit her on my lap to go down the slide. She can, and wants, to do it all by herself now. She is as happy to have me with her as she is to go by herself now. Bittersweet.

She has learned so much about play from watching the other children at the park. She now flops herself across the "big girl" swing and lifts her arms and legs and swings like that for a bit, as though she is flying. The first time I saw her do that I was dumbfounded.

But this "corner store" set up has intrigued her for quite some time. It's a popular spot for slightly older girls during the summer and Ingrid watched them from a distance all season long. Now that the children are back in school and the park is mostly deserted, Ingrid has the "corner store" all to herself and makes a bee line for it everytime we're there. She makes the sand pies and coffee just like the girls of summer used to do.

Today, after much excitement at daycare, she was just too pooped to participate.