The Playground Diaries Part II

Another Wednesday, another day with Mari. To start off with, it’s her six-months birthday today, and I got to spend it with her. Hurrah!

Made in Berlin

Anyway, my lesson learned from last week was to make time to meet with friends when you’re out and about. So that’s what I did. They weren’t available right away, so I had some time to kill. The obvious thing is to get a nice flat white and enjoy that little bit of sun we got today.

Then I hung out a bit at the playground, which this is obviously all about. I only sat for about 30 minutes, but even in that short amount of time I was well entertained. I just sat there with Mari on my arm curiously looking at what’s happening around her, when a couple of parents came on the playground with their kids who obviously just finished school for the day. Here’s what happened:

  • All parents were busy digging through their kids’ backpacks, looking through their kids books and folders and for notes from their teachers.

  • At the same time they went through their lunch boxes, eating what was left as they went.

  • Apparently there’s either a lice check coming up, or two out of three parents are supposed to check their kids for lice. There was some discussion going on, but no consensus was reached. I left shortly after, though that wasn’t related to the fact that some kids there might’ve lice, which one mum implied jokingly.

  • One kid showed its mom today’s results from writing class, where she wrote the letters o, l and m a dozen times each, having to pick the one she liked best. She showed me the results as well, and I agreed that she’s done good work. Then she asked me if I don’t have any kids going to school myself, showing what seemed to be disappointment, but might’ve been lost interest.

I left the playground to meet up with some of J’s mum friends. I met them before so there were no big surprises, their nice people. We met at a freshly opened cafe specifically targeting parents with babies and toddlers. Dare I say they picked the right audience.

When I arrived a good dozen of prams were standing outside the cafe. It just occurred to me that I forgot the keys to our pram’s lock. So I pushed it to the very end of the windows where I also found our friends sitting inside, so I left it there knowing that I could keep an eye on it.

Inside it was madness. Kids and parents, more kids and more parents. I almost entered the play area with my shoes on, but I realized just in time that you’re not supposed to do that. It’s quite a feat putting shoes on or taking them off with a baby on your arm, but thankfully I managed to pull it off.

Anyway, we had some chit-chat, let the kids play together, each licking a wooden spoon and some toy pans and pots in turn, and talked about what J would bring back home from IKEA, where she went on her day off.

I’m still somewhat in awe about this parents world which has been something of a parallel universe for me until recently. Sure, I spent time with my daughter on the weekend, and when I come home from the office, but being out there with here alone is still a very new experience.

Thankfully I know enough to take care of her on my own, so I don’t embarrass myself in front of the supposably hypercritical parental audience. Phew.

Tune in next week for more tales of interest from the “Playground Diaries.”

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