I spend an inordinate amount of time at parks. If it’s not a work day, I’m almost certain to be at a park. Today it was twice. Parks are nice. There aren’t too many in my 10km radius that I haven’t met and become acquainted with. A couple of months ago we moved from a lovely, grown up city apartment to the suburbs – a house with a backyard and real grass. (It also has a washing line which is quite the novelty.) When we moved I’m pretty sure I uttered the words “I won’t need to go to the park anymore”. Wrong. So wrong.
The thing is, with so much time spent parking about, I’ve become quite the expert on what makes a
good great freaking awesome park. Seriously, the council needs to employ me as a Park Consultant. Is Park Consulting a job? Surely when they build a new park someone gets consulted?
I’ve therefore decided to give my expert opinion on what parks need and don’t need.
Coffee. Coffee huts, coffee carts, little tiny cafes. Somewhere I can get a coffee (or a tea would be nice too.) If there is anything I need more than when I’m at the park it’s a coffee. Please don’t tell me to pack a thermos. There is a perfectly good coffee machine on my kitchen bench but that doesn’t stop me from walking down the road to get my morning coffee. Of course I know this is ridiculous but it also means I’m hardly the type to pack a thermos. I even had to google the word so I could get the correct spelling. My solution to the parks with no coffee is actually a bloody good business idea. Mr Whippy needs to go into the café latte business. I should buy a Mr Whippy van. The sound of greensleeves would no longer just mean the arrival of a soft serve but a coffee as well. Tell me that’s not a win for all.
Secondly, someone needs to produce and manufacture some kind of ground covering that is universally sanity free. The hideous bark chip stuff gets everywhere. One day I will learn not to take Charlie’s shoes off in the house, having just returned home from a bark/park visit. Sand also gets everywhere and if I wanted sand I’d go to the beach.
Adult friendly play equipment. I get that there is no pleasing everyone and that not all play equipment is made equal. Little kids can’t go on the big kids stuff and the big kids shouldn’t really go on the little kids stuff but um, what about the parent? Just this afternoon I had to rescue Charlie from some slide contraption thing and doing so meant going over the wobbly bridge. The wobbly bridge might be good for kids and toddlers but not for me. Especially if I haven’t had a coffee.
And lastly, fencing. Full fencing. I’m all for letting kids run wild. Heck that’s the reason I take Charlie to the park (run wild = goes to sleep at bedtime). Seriously though, if we could have just one big, huge fat fence around the park then my helicopter parenting style could allow me to park the helicopter without worrying that I’m going to lose Charlie. This is a kid that could walk for miles, head down, picking up sticks. He could go nuts with his sticks if I knew he was fenced in! What I don’t understand is that we have great fences around our dog parks so surely we can fence the kids in a bit. I don’t fancy taking Charlie to a dog park – not until we at least get a dog.
Don’t get me wrong, I honestly do like parks, I love them in fact. There is something really sweet about watching my little boy and the joy on his face when we arrive at a park. There’s nothing like catching him at the bottom of the slide, pushing him on the swing and watching him wobble on the wobble bridge thingy. I’m a big fan of fresh air, I just love coffee too.