With this beautiful October weather still gracing us with it's presence, it has been like having 'bonus' days for getting out in the fresh air. None more so than for a trip to the park.
Now I feel very lucky with the park facilities near to where we live as there are several choices (probably due to it being a seaside resort) but my favourite is one situated on a big massive playing field (over run by the local football club on weekends but fine throughout the week).
J2 can run his energy off (relatively) safely (may have to occasionally dodge the odd dog poopy from bad dog owners that do not clean up, but for the most part people are pretty good here) as free from cars and roads nearby as well as on the playground facilities.
I think I appreciate the fact that I can take my toddler to the park, such a simple occurrence for most, because it has never been something I can do with J1. The few times I did try and just 'carry on' as I would with an able bodied baby, it was just made screamingly obviously that he was not an able bodied baby and I would return home in tears. The times I tried to go with friends, for fresh air or change of scenery for us both, just having my baby sitting watching everyone else charge around, again just turned into a traumatic event emotionally.
So having the park on my list of things to do, for free, to entertain the energy ball that is J2 - is still very much in novelty phase and one of my (in the words of Sister Maria) 'favourite things'! We have a lovely old time, my little spit-fire can run his little legs off without me having to say 'Mind the unit / breakfast bar / table!' and climb and whizz up and down the slide as many time as his little legs can carry him.
Luckily he has a few 'favourite' playground articles that he favours and these are the smaller things, he approaches the other things but as J2 doesn't have the best attention span, the minute he realises he can't climb up something he loses interest and goes back to what he can achieve. Even so, he has a little try and I let him (ready to catch of course!).
However, I am quickly learning that this isn't the general 'way' of the playground / park, which seems bizarre to me. We have been frequenting the park a lot over the last two months and not one visit goes by where I do not end up thinking 'For pity's sake, get off the kids back and let them have fun!' There is always (actually usually more than one) adult, constantly moaning, checking and nothing short of bawling at a child for doing nothing more than, well, playing.
It baffles me? You bring them to the park to play, run, climb, shout, laugh and even scream with excitement and boisterousness? Why, in that case do you cause yourself a hernia and I am sure take years off of your life span, stressing at every move they make? Now I am all for a cautionary parent making sure that bones are not going to be broken or harm come to, but seriously, one parent actually dragged their child (who believe me, had done very little wrong) away (bawling of course) because they were having 'Too much fun!' WHAT?
So this is definitely the 'maddest' thing I have come across this week. And maybe next time you are taking the kids to the park, if you find yourself hurling yourself to save your child everytime they take a solitary step in the playground, just remind yourself why you brought them and be thankful that your child can and wants to play, even if it is a little rough and tumble.
And above all, enjoy it. Enjoy watching them being children.