The Parks, Sunny Days and Why Kids Have to Play

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cure for Mondays

"Alta! Gib him da lion! Giiibbb him da liiooooon!" a nanny let out a long scream while  I was looking around for a place to settle at the Velasquez Park.

If I knew who Alta was and who "him" was, I could have offered to mediate between the two to settle that behemothic issue over some lion. There were around 20 kids and the nanny was screaming at someone from the other side of the park and there was no telling who Alta was, although it was obvious that whoever she was, she wasn't listening.  Or the nanny could have done the negotiation herself because a nanny hired to take care of kids shouldn't be screaming at them in the first place. I know I said I didn't like quiet Sundays, but the sound of screaming nannies is not in my book of bliss either.

It's not only screaming nannies that I find harrying, it is the sight of them taking selfies, pulling kids by the arm and scolding them in public. We've gone a long way and we know that good-natured, well-mannered and patient nannies are hard to come by. A lot of parents spend the entire week breaking their backs to earn a living and have no choice but to hire nannies for the kids.  Most kids spend more time with their nannies in uniforms than with their parents and that is a poignant truth no one really likes to talk about.
It was a Sunday and more than half of the kids at the park were with their nannies. Do parents work on Sundays, too?

Dress up day is also play day, according to her.

What's worse than waiting at the park with insipid coffee {and well, some screaming nannies}? It's waiting at the park without a good book. I bought cofee from a 7/11 store, the one right next to Gino's where we had lunch earlier that day, and it tasted like coffee-flavored hot water, to my utter disappointment. For the record, I've never had bad coffee from 7/11, so this one was a surprise. It was an extreme contrast to the great cup I had at Gino's. I even let my 13-year-old taste it just to make sure I wasn't imagining it -- and I wasn't.

I'm in the last few chapters of Welcome to the Monkey House, and I should really be ashamed about getting stuck with this book for a long time. The park would have been a good place to finish the book, but this woman has got to finish chores and answer a million "why" questions from a  toddler everyday.  I'm tossing out my badge of shame.

So, not knowing how long Mr Young's meeting was going to last, and knowing for sure that we'd have to peel Attika from the park had we decided to leave soon, I sat there and basked in the afternoon sun enjoying the sound of laughing kids and cancelling out voices of screaming nannies. A hundred thoughts rushed into my head and I'm quite certain there were times when I grinned like a loony in the company of I, me and myself.

Both my kids were running around and it was such a joyous sight. I'd normally join in the fun, but I'm a female of the species who sometimes becomes "limited" when the time of the month comes. Cole, who's 13, was mostly playing his big brother role, helping Attika climb ropes and steel ladders, and playing the monster who chased her around.

We let our kids be kids, and I choked just a bit when someone once asked me some months ago if we ever let our kids out since we're homeschooling. Yes, we do. We brought education home and home is a happy place, not a prison. As a matter of fact, we have more time to be gallivanting out in the sun because we're not tied to a rigid school schedule.

Playing is crucial to the growth and development of children. Here are some reasons why we should let them play.

1. It helps them develop social skills.
2. Play allows for self expression.
3. It helps them develop decision-making skills.
4. Playing means they are also learning.
5. It helps them become aware of people's feelings.
6. Active children grow into active adults.
7. The more physical activities kids have, the better learners they become.
8. Play enhances the imagination.
9. Physical play delays mental decline in old age.
10. Play is scientifically good for the brain.

We went to three different parks last weekend, and it wasn't only fun for the kids, Mr Young and I had a great time on the swings, too.

Taken from a playground in Antipolo 

As for Alta, the yaya, the mysterious "him" and the lion, I finally got a glimpse of them before we left. Turned out that "him" was the cute little Spanish boy with curly hair who kept talking to Attika. He won the lion negotiation.


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