Being a stay-at-home mom with two kids, I tend to go to the park -- a lot. And I'm lucky that there are quite a few parks in my neighbourhood that I can walk to.
One is just five minutes away and another is less than 10 minutes away (well walking at my pace anyway, when Austin decides to walk, it takes a lot longer). Then there are four others that I can walk to into about 15 to 20 minutes.
So needless to say, since we visit the park about twice a week -- at least -- I try to mix it up, so that both me and the kids get a change of scenery. But of these six parks we go to, there are definitely some that are better than others.
But in all honesty, none of them are great. They're either too small or too old or the equipment is too wimpy or the sand is really just dirt or the play structure isn't that much fun or, or, or.
Yes, I've become a park snob.
Some women are coffee snobs or clothes snobs, but me, I'm a park snob (what can I say, it fits well with my stay-at-home mom title). And I'm frustrated by the fact, that although there are a lot of parks near me, there aren't really any good parks.
Like the one at Kew Gardens where I took the kids last weekend while Ryan was playing baseball. Or the one at Withrow Park where I met my cousin and her daughter one morning. Or the random one at a not-so-well-known point of interest in Toronto that I met a friend and her kids at yesterday.
All three of these parks were big with huge play structures -- and in most cases more than one or two of said play structures, -- were gated in so kids couldn't easily run away, and were packed with kids and moms. In each case there were probably 25 or 30 kids -- at least.
And that's another thing. I can't tell you the number of times I've taken the kids to the park and we end up being the only ones there. And let's face it, it's boring for me to have no one to talk to and it's boring for the kids to have only me to play with. Isn't that part of the reason for going to the park -- so they don't have to play with me all day?
So not only does my neighbourhood have wimpy parks but it is also apparently kid-free.
Ok, I'm exaggerating a little bit here -- we do see kids from time to time but unfortunately for me, there is either a language barrier when us parents try to chat or people just keep to themselves. And I'm not very good at starting up a conversation with someone who seems to want to stand off to the side and watch the grass grow.
It's too bad really, because when I was at those other cool parks, there was a real sense of community amongst the parents. People actually talked to each other. And my kids -- well they ran around like crazy fools with all the other kids and barely noticed their mom off to the side yelling that it was almost time to go home.
So maybe, once a week or so, I'm going to have to start being a snob and drive us all to a better park -- either that or I have to stop being such a snob. After all, now that I think about it, the kids probably don't care all that much.