Wednesday, March 10, 2010


There was a time when I barely saw daylight on a Saturday or Sunday, certainly I wasn’t familiar with mornings on those days of the week. These days I really look forward to family time on weekends and I hate wasting this precious time.

Sometimes it’s just errand running, maybe a trip to Bunnings and a sausage, if I’m lucky, other times it’s a day trip to some destination of child and parent interest.

So last Sunday was a fairly ordinary sort of weekend day. We bundled into the car bound for Officeworks, a shredder was apparently necessary for our household to operate. Silly me, I had been under the misapprehension for all these years that you could dispose of paper by way of ripping it to pieces, but apparently clever identity burglars are able to jigsaw your rubbish back together and bish, bam, boom, you’re stuffed.

After purchasing the cheapest option and with the world again spinning correctly on its axis, I suggested that we check out the children’s adventure playground we had been told about in a well to do suburb of Brisbane.

I have come to realise that there is a hierarchy in children’s adventure playgrounds, with some offering far superior methods for kids to break bones compared to the boring old swing and slippery dip parks of my own youth. Soft fall matting I laugh at you.

Ok then, that’s the back story to this particular blog.

So, we’re checking out this new park, there is full scale adventuring going down. We were playing on the swings, on the fort, down the slippery dip, having laughs, engaging in problem solving, generating grunts of exertion. All good signs.

And while James was toddling from equipment piece to equipment piece I happened to notice a kid and his mother being dropped off by one of those European 4WD, then the dad drove off, probably to run his own shredder errand.

Anyway, James, Kylee and I continued our playing. Mum and Dad each holding one of James’ hands to steady him as he defied death and walked up the slippery dip. We steadied him as he walked across the wobbly bridge and then caught him as he was about to slip into the abyss between the webbed funnel contraption.

And so, as our time in the park was nearing an end, James decided that he would have a go on one last piece of equipment. It was one of those springy rocker thingies. Mounting it from the head on direction caused some difficulties of the slipping and bumping variety and at the moment James let out a cry of frustration the aforementioned European 4WD kid raced by with his mum close behind. Hearing James’ cry, Nelson, as I will now call him, gave his impression of his namesake from ‘The Simpson’s’ as he let out a ‘Ha ha’.

Our response was automatic.

Kylee and I spun around and as we did so, we met the eye of Nelson, who had turned on instinct to continue to soak up the enjoyment of the situation. Unfortunately for Nelson, he discovered that Kylee and I had morphed into parental defence machines.

It happened in some sort of Matrix style slow motion, but as our eyes met, daggers were shot at Nelson in unison. The eye daggers cut the air as they tumbled end over end towards their target. And Nelson was momentarily paralysed…. Fffffftttt … Fffffftttt…. Both daggers hit their mark square in the chest.

I’m sure that Nelson wasn’t unfamiliar with the look of derision that he experienced when he saw Kylee and my response. He just seemed to be one of those kids. Proud I am to say that Nelson was shut down and castigated in one stroke.

I realised where Nelson was running as he passed us by. The European 4WD had returned and as he now shuffled to the family car, Nelson continued looking back in our direction with a look of disappointment that somehow we had ruined his fun. And although surprised by my own response I couldn’t help but feeling good.

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