Are you hoping your toddler will grow up to join Zippo’s circus? Then get down to Fairfield Park near the leisure centre and throw them on the roundabout because to survive a playdate on that thing a child needs to have strength, agility and acrobatic skills. They also need a parent who is able to react at lightning speed when it all goes wrong and they are being dragged around on the floor unable to work out that if they just let go the horror will end. JUST LET GO!!
This is how I spent part of Father’s day. Down the park with my four year old, at first thinking ‘oh look, she’s doing really well, maybe it’s not so dangerous, maybe she was just too young for it’ to then realise 20 minutes later that it is actually dangerous as I’m yelling JUST LET GO! I watch my child being pulled around by the heavy heavy roundabout, face down, screaming as she goes.
I stop the roundabout and pick her up. The damage isn’t too bad.
She gets back on. I hide behind the slide and sob inwardly, wondering what I did in a previous life to deserve this torture.
A boy joins her. They have fun. His mum is watching them play.
A 2 year old comes hurtling towards the roundabout. It’s going too fast – she won’t be able to get on. She doesn’t give a shit – she’s going for it anyway. Her mother, trying to sort out her brother who has somehow managed to tie his shoelace around a climbing frame is too far away to stop the impending disaster. She shouts. The child ignores her, the prize virtually within her grasp.
Mum of boy instinctively leaps in and rescues toddler girl from being dragged face first by the roundabout whilst her mum looked on shouting JUST LET GO.
We mothers congregate to discuss what just happened. I start.
“I bloody hate that roundabout. I don’t know why they didn’t get rid of the damned thing when they did the park up.”
“Me too. It’s just hell. I can’t leave the kids alone for a second and it’s a nightmare when you have two”
“And your little girl was fast!”
“I know. The sod. Look, she’s doing it again. Oh for pete’s sakes JUST LET GO!”
The purpose of this blog, apart from entertaining you at the expense of some daft kids, is to try and gauge public feeling towards said roundabout. I’ve been into other parks with newer, lighter roundabouts and when my child falls over the roundabout stops. She doesn’t get dragged. If I didn’t intervene and she didn’t let go she would be dragged around at least 5 full circles before the very heavy roundabout lost momentum. I personally feel that it’s time the roundabout moved on.
Do you feel the same?
Please let me know via the Facebook comments (or the WordPress comments – I shall collate them all) how you feel about this roundabout. Do you also loath it? Do you have a story where you pulled a muscle because you had to run faster than Chris Akabuse to save your own child from being pulled along?
Or do you love it! Let’s not get rid of a well loved thing. Maybe I’m wrong.
Or maybe you don’t care. Please feel free to tell me that too.
Maybe you have a park near you where the roundabout is a great success! I want to hear. I will drive to parks with good roundabouts to experience this!
If there are enough people who feel the same way I’ll send this blog to the local counsellors and see what they say!! Hopefully they won’t say they don’t care!!
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SARAH CANTRILL is a woman on a mission to inspire every young child to become a reader for pleasure. She is the Artistic Director & Founder of STORY STORKS, a social enterprise that delivers interactive story workshops to early years children and their grown ups, that help kids to fall in love with stories and develop their early language skills meaning that they have an easier time of learning to read when the time is right. She is also passionate about helping and supporting parents through the early years and lobbying for a better understanding of them and the issues they present. Occasionally she also speaks up for the kids too!