The Trouble With Tents

My daughter and I went to visit my brother, his wife and their 19-month-old daughter a few days ago. With my daughter being just five months younger, we hope they'll be close friends as they grow up.

My niece recently got a new princess tent, which she was awfully proud to show off. It was pink and about three feet tall. The door was made of two pink sheer panels that can be tied off to the sides, but my niece preferred them to be just hanging straight down. She had a rather large pillow inside for sitting.

My daughter took a little time warming up to everyone, but once she did, she was ready to check out the tent, too.

Both girls are a little taller than the doorway. My niece is old enough to realize that she can still get in if she just ducks down a little. My daughter is not. She tried to walk several times, each time catching her forehead on the material at the top of the door. Meanwhile, her cousin was easily walking in and out. I tried to tell my daughter to duck, and as she looked at me confused, it occurred to me that her only familiarity with the word "duck" is the toy I give her to play with in the bathtub.

On her final attempt to get into the tent, she tripped on her feet and fell inside right on the pillow.

She played inside for a little bit, but then she decided to leave, only she had the same trouble getting out that she had getting in. This time, though, when her head caught on the top of the tent's doorway, she just kept walking until her feet were outside the tent but her head was caught inside. She was leaning backward quite a bit and lost her balance. To keep herself from falling backward, she grabbed the sheer panels of the door, but it was too little, too late. She fell right back into the tent. Then she just crawled out.

It was just one of many moments when I wish I'd had my video camera handy.

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