Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Kiddie Park

I have taken a real liking to the local kiddie park. It's filled with mums and kids of all ages. It's a large green park with a sandbox, a wading pool, swings, play structure, etc. I find it extremely entertaining to watch people there (an inexpensive, amusing way to spend a day). Following are some of the characters I've come across. I really wanted to take pictures but it just wasn't appropriate. Maybe I should look into secret spy gear.

The man with the orange nike sneakers (white swoosh): Looks like a secret agent. Mousy. Dark glasses. Mysterious. Looks around constantly, as if to see if anyone is watching him. Pushes stroller to a bench, sits down, looks around. Reaches into stroller. Pulls out a newspaper. (I'm wondering if there is a baby in there or if he is a pedophile). Looks around. Nervous. Reaches into his pocket and pulls out cigarettes. Starts smoking. (Are his hands shaking?) Looks around. Reads paper (pulling up paper high to cover his face). Still smoking. Baby cries (so there is a baby in there after all). He extinguishes his cigarette. Picks up the baby. Takes off his glasses. Coos and kisses baby. Behaves like normal, loving father for about 5 mins. Then puts baby back in stroller. Glasses back on. Paper goes back into stroller. He looks around again. Pushes baby in stroller out of the park. (I haven't seen him since)

The family with red scarf hats: Three women. Seven children, all with red scarves for hats. Brian thinks it's a way for three women, with separate husbands, to keep track of their kids. I think it's a way for three women, with one husband, to keep track of their kids.

The pregnant man: okay, so he's not really pregnant. But the first thing I saw was two expecting women, pushing strollers, and then just behind them came a man with a bit of a gut, pushing a stroller. Hence, I have dubbed him the pregnant man.

The naked circus performer: A boy about 10 years old. Buck naked. On the swing set. First sitting normally, then getting adventurous and twisting his body about so his feet are up in the air, his back arched on the seat of the swing, his head so low that his hair just sweeps the ground.

And those are just a few...

*Nike orange shoe photo is courtesy of
*Photo of red scarf woman from
*Beer belly photo from
*Swings picture from Cirque du Soleil

The "Crib"

After doing quite a bit of research on cribs, I decided to move forward with the "Montessori bed" (a mattress, on the floor, with no rails).

I thought the concept was a good one (although it terrifies some people I know). The child has full visibility and complete freedom of movement. When the child wakes up, she can amuse herself by exploring her room or playing with her toys. This approach is supposed to foster independence and creativity in the child.

As the child gets older, you slowly increase the distance between the bed and the floor.

Note: The key to "Montessori bed" success is your ability to childproof.