(#51) The A-Z April Challenge: M – Multiple Parks

I’ve been very specific for today’s ‘M’ challenge. It’s not that I don’t have things and people and happenings in my life starting with ‘M’ that I’m grateful for – I have my Mum, and she also has a name starting with ‘M’. My daughter is an ‘M.’ I could have spoken about Motherhood, or the place we are thinking of seachanging it to – that’s an ‘M.’ I could have spoken about Michael Jackson, or Michael Buble or Madonna (that’s right I have already written about the queen here)… Hubbie even told me to write about his car, that’s an ‘M’ name, and I commented “no offence, I think your car is great, but how am I grateful for it?” to which he replied, “because it makes me so happy.”

Of course.

But I didn’t want to be writing about the above things (minus the car), on a day when I had to write about them. When I write about my Mum, or Mumhood, or my baby girl, or the place we hope to be moving to… I want to feel the strong emotions of gratitude for them. Not that I don’t everyday. I’ll just write about it on a day when I am particularly moved.

Likewise I won’t write about Mr Jackson or Mr Buble on a day when I haven’t listened to their songs. That’s cheating, it just doesn’t sit right with me.

Lucky for me I went to multiple parks today, and I was super grateful for it. Well it was two, but we’re not up to ‘T’ today now, are we?

The story goes, following baby girl’s nap, it was still early enough to head to the park before dinner. We are fortunate that we have two parks on either side of us, one just under a 5 minute walk, in a court about a block away, and the other just over 5 minutes, around the corner and besides a large sports reserve. It’s brilliant, especially when you have littlies. It was also a gorgeous day out, and wanting to take advantage of every last ray of sunshine before it recedes into grey days, baby girl and I stepped out.

We had been at the first park, the one in the court, not even a few minutes, when two kids rode up in bikes.

They left their bikes on the ground at the entrance to the park’s grass and walked up to the play area. One was a girl, about 5 I’d say, while the boy was about a year older than baby girl. And what alarmed me most, was the noise that came out of his mouth: “cough cough cough!”

Only it wasn’t as straight-forward as that. It was a deep, throaty, the-kids-gonna-throw-up-some-guts type cough that came from the depths of his soul. It was like a demon was being strangled in his throat. I looked down the street to see who had let a child this unwell mingle with other children in a communal playground, and saw a woman approaching. I was mad, and enraged, but I couldn’t do anything. I know that strengthening the immune system is one thing, and many argue and I agree, that a bit of germs and dirt is a good thing. But still, I watched as he jumped around from tunnel to slide to ladder, spluttering and coughing all over the place and NOT covering his mouth, because hey which kid does… but what made me more alarmed was that baby girl was watching this boy, and fascinated with his jungle jumping antics. She started to kind of follow him.

You know which Mums shit me? The ones who are all “oh, don’t worry, all kids get sick!” It’s all well and good until they’re crying out to you in the middle of the night because the snot has filled up their nose and they can’t breathe, or the coughing from their irritated throats wakes them up and they won’t take cough medicine so all you can do is hold them for hours and curse the Mother who thought it was ok to let her sick kid onto the playground because she was ‘sick’ of dealing with him at home.

So, I acted immediately. I whispered to her that we would go to the other ‘big park,’ because the boy here was sick and would make us so. I love this girl, she’s pretty good when she’s getting what she wants. She obediently followed, and I sighed relieved, that we had another park to go to and I hadn’t just shattered her afternoon bliss.

So, from this Mama, thank goodness for our multiple parks.

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