Formerly - A look at the ups and downs of life with a double pushchair!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

We've started swinging!

The summer holidays may already seem like a distant memory and with eldest daughter and boy in the middle back at school A&E are missing out on a new favourite activity. Over the summer we spent a lot of time at the park. So much so that now at the mere mention of the word park A repeats and shouts out the word and both girls look for their shoes and get ready to go out.

For me as a mummy I love watching my kids have fun at the park. It's always so exciting when a baby can finally sit up and have a go on the swing. When A&E were smaller 1 swing was all we needed. Side by side or back to back they delighted by swinging together. As they have grown I now find myself approaching the swings with more trepidation.

Just like men waiting for luggage at the carousel at an airport guarding their space so they will get their bag off first, I have noticed a whole new breed of competitive swinging mummies.

On a good day at the park two swings will be available side by side. On a bad day we have to wait our turn. There are generally two types of mummy at the swings. There are those, like me, who as soon as a queue builds up feel the need to encourage the children off the swings. Then there are those who have waited their turn and are going to make sure their child has a long  turn. I have even witnessed mummies who use a swing like a highchair and spend 15 minutes spooning apple sauce into their baby with no swinging being done at all.

On Hampstead Heath one day we found two swings, one available and the other occupied by an overgrown toddler, too big for the swing, with his Grandpa. Grandpa was negotiating some sort of deal on his mobile phone but every so often came back to give another push. After 10 minutes of switching A&E over, the Grandpa finally finished his call and persuaded his bored grandson out of the swing offering us the seat as if he had just noticed us and was doing me a huge favour.

There really should be some sort of swinging etiquette. 2-3 minutes satisfies even the most excited swinger. Just because 10-15 minutes pushing a child is easier for the adult, it's time we learned to be more adventurous with our toddlers in the park.