This past Saturday was our neighborhood’s block party — the third one since we’ve moved into this house! And since I’ve written blog posts about last year’s block party, and the block party from the year before that, it seemed only fitting to continue the saga with a little recap of this year’s edition.
But just for nostalgic flashback purposes: this time last year, Lillian was a cuddly little baby who couldn’t walk yet, so she mostly spent the block party waving adorably to people from her stroller and napping in the shade. This year couldn’t have been more different. Now that she’s a completely mobile toddler — practically a big kid already! — we spent the afternoon running up and down the block, and Lillian had a blast enjoying the various toys and games that were available.
For instance, one of our neighbors brought out a beanbag tossing game, and I gave Lillian an awesome demo of how to toss the bags toward the hole and completely miss the target. Then she had a lot of fun tossing the beanbags from a very short distance:
Last year, I mentioned how our block is the “geriatric block” compared to some of the surrounding ones, due to its high percentage of older and retired folks — and while that’s still largely the case, there seemed to be a noticeable increase in the number of kids this year. There are two new babies on the block, both under a year old, as well as a little boy right around Lillian’s age. A miniature localized “baby boom” you might say!
Kind of a funny story about one of the babies. We first met the 9-month-old baby boy when he was being pushed around by his grandpa in one of those strollers that looks like a little car, complete with miniature steering wheel for the baby to turn. The grandfather said something like “wave at the pretty redhead!” to which Lillian replied, “Baby!”
Then, later, we made our way down the block to where the family had a blanket spread out in their front yard with various baby toys, including one of those stacking games where the object is to put the colorful plastic donut-sized rings back on the post. Lillian ran up and wanted to start playing with the toys, to the welcome invitation of the baby and his family.
“So wait… first he rides up in a convertible, and now he’s giving her rings?” Joe asked jokingly. “I’m gonna have to keep an eye on this one.”
In other kids-all-over-the-place related news, our neighbor who runs the daycare had a bunch of extra scooters and tricycles out in the front yard, and Lillian got to try her hand at riding a tricycle for the first time:
She seemed to really enjoy it and did a great job scooting around on it all over the place, though hasn’t gotten the hang of pedaling yet. It was a great first attempt, though — and it made us realize we might consider getting her some kind of scooter or tricycle of her own.
And for the first time, there was a bouncy castle! Albeit a miniature one that one of the neighbors brought out into their front yard, but still. Lillian ended up just cautiously going in and then turning around to get out pretty quickly, but the 3-year-old kids were in heaven with it — so that’s probably a foreshadowing of what we can expect next year.
And then another neighbor offered us the use of this tricycle with really long handles that’s meant to be pushed around like a stroller. Lillian rode in it for a bit, but had a lot more fun pushing it around herself:
And there was a little unexpected bonus this year: a performance by a four-piece mariachi band. (From what I understand, someone on the block happened to have their birthday fall on the day of the block party, and also happened to have a daughter in a mariachi band who managed to get the band to come play for the occasion.)
Lillian was enthralled by the band — I was actually surprised by how long she stood there in silence, watching them play, since she’s definitely at that age of running breathlessly from one distraction to another every 30 seconds (or in other words, being a typical toddler). But I’m not sure she’s ever been this close to a real band with real instruments before, so it was probably a fascinating enough distraction on its own.
So anyway, that’s the scoop on this year’s block partying adventures! Overall the turnout was better than the past two years, though we still have a ways to go before we reach the massive “kids swarming everywhere” proportions that we seem to see on neighboring blocks. We’ll have to see if the trend toward more kids and more turnout continues when block party #4 rolls around next year!