Last night Dan and I decided to take the kids on a walk after dinner. We really enjoy these family walks; Gabe rides in the Baby Bjorn and promptly falls asleep, Maddy chills in the jogging stroller, and Dan and I get a shot at adult conversation. We had conspired to take Maddy to a local playground to wear her out..."Let's stop by the P-A-R-K because someone took a long nap today. It's our only chance of a normal bedtime" I had said. "Yea! The P-R-K! I want to go to the P-R-K! Can we Mommy?" came the immediate response from the little girl listening underfoot. I guess we need a new system of secret communication...the three year-old is on to us.
Anyways, we enjoyed a nice long walk and some good conversation on a muggy evening before heading to the subdivision park. I was wondering if there would be any other children there since it was approaching eight o'clock as we arrived. But, sure enough, there was a little boy, maybe six or seven, and a girl Maddy's age, playing together. The little boy called to his sister "Hey, Kenzie! Look at me!" as we approached, and, Madalyn, overcome with joy to see a like-aged child, began yelling from the stroller before we even stopped, "Hey, Penchee! Penchee! I'm here to play with you! HI PENCHEE!" Dan and I were stifling back laughter as the little girl's dad approached and asked, "Um, do they know each other?" We let Maddy out of the stroller and she took off like a bullet towards the little girl. "Nope, she's just extremely social" said I. By this point the little girl has agreed to be Maddy's friend with only this disclaimer: "My name is KENZIE." Madalyn brushes of the comment and continues to interpret her name as Penchee as the two zip up and down the slide. They later discover the speakers--two tubes located at different ends of the play facility designed for talking into. I hold Maddy up and Kenzie's dad holds her up so the girls can talk; Madalyn goes first, "Hey, Penchee! Can you hear me? I LOVE YOU, Penchee!"
Kenzie's dad comes over to Dan and I and strikes up a conversation after that: "So, how do they know each other?" The man is clearly still confused. "Oh, they don't. Maddy heard Kenzie's brother say her name as we pulled up. She just loves to make friends." I explain. Through the course of our conversation, we discover that Kenzie and Maddy are actually going to be in the same pre-school class this fall! Her dad is very friendly, and we talk for several more minutes before heading home.
I think I see the beginning of a beautiful friendship: Maddy and Penchee...BFFs for life.