Posts Tagged ‘park innovations’

I’m a good mother. No really, I am! I read to my kids, I give them hugs and kisses when they’re hurt, I go to school assembly when they’re getting ‘Pupil Of The Week’ and blah blah blah and so on and so forth. HOWEVER, whenever I have to push a small child on a swing for more than two minutes, I can’t help but feel I’m completely wasting my life.

[Incidentally, when I have to swing two or more children simultaneously (and, not to show off or anything, I’ve once swung four), I also can’t help but feeling like one of those Plate Spinners at the circus, dashing between each swing, keeping the momentum for each child going so they don’t start shouting “Higher! Higher!! HIGHER!!!” again. Man, that “HIGHER!!!” thing makes me anxious. For one thing, those swings get a terrible speed wobble when pushed too high. For another thing, I’m always worried the swing’ll end up doing one of those ‘Round The World yo-yo tricks. But I digress…]

And so it was with a heavy heart that I saw that the newly refurbished park down the road had a grand total of three swings in two different locations within the park. That put an end to any dream I had of being able to sit in a 360° swivel chair in the middle of the park sipping from a glass freshly-filled from the champagne drinking fountain (which are just a few of the park inventions I have previously blogged about. Two words: Ideas. Person.).

For the record, I had been enjoying that park immensely while it was being refurbished. Oftentimes, I would park the car with the five kids in my care just outside the building site and watch the workmen hard at work talking on their mobile phones. We would chat excitedly about all the new equipment and all the fun we’d have when we could finally go there – which I promised to do the very minute the park was open. It was the best fun I’d ever had at a park because nobody even unclipped their seatbelt, let alone asked me to hold their legs (and their full body weight) while they ‘swung’ across the improbably high monkey-bars or ran in front of an oncoming swing. Nobody tried to sell me a handful of tanbark posing as ‘chips’ and then expected me to eat them. Nobody took their shoes and socks off to go in the sand pit or dipped their arse into a puddle the size of the South China Sea at the bottom of the slide. And most certainly, nobody asked me to push them on the ruddy swing.

So I was just a little disappointed when the park actually opened and we had to get out of the car and go in it.

And of course, within minutes of stepping in the place, I found myself, eyes glazed over, tanbark in my goddamn shoes, simultaneously pushing two children on the swings, with yet another child over on the ‘big swing’ looking at me with imploring eyes.

“Higher! HIGHER!” the children all shouted.

“I’m wasting my fucking life!” I thought to myself. But then I thought about how I could turn it all into a blog post so now I suppose I’m just wasting yours.

The end, by me.

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There’s one thing that a Not Drowning Mother of small children dreads more than a Gastro Trifecta (that’s three children vomiting in the same night for the uninitiated) and that’s The Teenage Years. (*Shudder*). And I have good reason to dread those years: The Pixie, at the ripe old age of four and a half, is already showing incredible form as one helluva Teenage Girl.

Just the other day, I took her to a particular park at her insistent request.

[An aside: I have made no secret of my disdain for park-going on this blog but I take my children to the park because a) I love them and like to make them happy; and b) it is an effective way of killing time on Those Days Which Seem Like Months. For the record: I think parks would be vastly improved by having swiveling chairs in the middle of the playground, allowing parents 360° supervision without ever having to leave their seats. Remote-control operated swings, self-draining slides and free champagne-fountains are amongst my other park innovations. And yes, I’m an ideas person.]

ANYWAY, after an hour of Top Shelf Parenting, including pushing both The Pixie and Tiddles McGee on the swings, holding their full weight so they could “swing” on the monkeybars and getting tanbark in my goddamn shoes, I managed to shepherd them back into the car.

I had just strapped them both in and handed out my Exit Strategy snacks when The Pixie suddenly announced: “That wasn’t the adventure park I meant. That’s the Wooden Adventure Park. I meant the Airplane Adventure Park.”

Then, before I’d fully registered what she had just said, she cheerfully added: “Today is a great day because we get to visit two adventure parks. Yayyy!!!!” And she started clapping so enthusiastically, that Tiddles McGee started clapping and going “Yaayyyy!!!”, too.

Luckily, I had a planned visit from The Pixie’s beloved KT to play as a trump card. “Oh, we haven’t got time to go to another park because KT’s coming over!”, I said in my best “Oh what a pity!” voice. And I merrily started driving home.

After a little while, The Pixie piped up again.

“Mummy, can I go to KT’s house after she comes to our house?”

“No, sweetheart. Not today.”

The Pixie then smiled very sweetly at me through the rear-view mirror in that way that beauty counter attendants do when they’re about to call the manager.

“Let’s see what KT says,” she said.

“I said ‘No’, sweetie.”

“Okay. But let’s see what KT says.”

“It doesn’t matter what KT says, because I’ve said NO!” I said somewhat emphatically, before practically growling: “And I’m the Mummy here.

“Let’s just see,” she replied, unperturbed.

“I SAID ‘NO’!” (Yes, screaming crazy bitch time).

There followed a brief shocked silence in the car when I almost thought I might have reasserted my authority… But then… The Pixie started whispering “Let’s see what KT says” to herself under her breath like some kind of mantra All. The. Way. Home.

Luckily for me, I’ve already convinced my very fashionable friend GT to have The Pixie during her teenage years on the pretence that GT can “teach her about hair, makeup and fashion.” And “GT will have her! GT will have her!” became my little mantra as I drove that exceedingly long 5 minute journey home, punctuated by the occasional “Sheesh!” and “I’m the Mummy here!”.

Ha! Who am I kidding?

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