Get out and enjoy our beautiful parks

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My kids have been driving me crazy this week as they have both recently been equipped with scooters. Now they chase each other all the time on their contraptions, causing chaos wherever they go.

And there is only one person to blame for this – and that is me. For months now whenever I go to get them from the childminder’s house they wail when I have to prise them away from their new favourite toys, making me feel like the obligatory bad guy.

So in my wisdom I decided I would get my son a scooter for his fourth birthday – which was last week. However, as soon as I mentioned this to my eldest daughter she set up such a racket about “How unfair!” this was, coupled with her moans that “she was older and why couldn’t she have a scooter first.”

In the end after several negotiations similar to those undertaken by UN Peace Negotiators I am sure, I let her have a scooter – but only once she impressed me by keeping her room tidy for more than one day at a time and completing her piano practice and homework without me having to nag her to do so.

Now she is literally a demon on a bright pink scooter – giddily careering round bends as I nervously pant after her worrying she is going to scoot off into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

My son on the other hand has not yet quite got the hang of it at all – sometimes he stays on board but most times he seems to be on the floor with part or all of his new purchase on top of him.

However, not one to be put off he seems determined to master the necessary skills.

Now the youngest, despite being just one, is determined she too can give this new craze a go.

Despite complaints from her elder siblings I have caught her a number of times trying her best to steer and stay upright – quite a challenge when you only learned to walk less than a year ago.

Now I am considering a smaller, three-wheeled version for her birthday at the end of the year. But God alone knows how I’ll manage to keep them all in once place when we go out and about!

Thank goodness we are blessed with so many beautiful parks and open spaces here in Sheffield. Local to me I have not only one but three fantastic parks – Endcliffe, Millhouses and the Botanical Gardens. And just down the road is Chelsea Park, while only a short distance away is Graves Park, not to mention the fact the Peak District is quite literally within walking distance.

Now I have made a decision to have the wellies and rain covers constantly packed in the back of the car as when you have three children you just have to take any opportunity to go to the park and enjoy it. If I planned it too much I think I would end up never going.

Whenever friends have arranged to meet in the park on my days off with the kids I have to adopt almost a military procedure for making sure each child has what it requires – wellies, rain macs, nappies, wipes, cycle helmets, bicycles, scooters etc. I am exhausted before even leaving the house. Then you spend the whole time in the park chasing after various offspring and barely getting any time to actually talk to your friend, who most usually is off in the other direction chasing their brood.

Now Sheffield City Council has even set up a new park – South Street Park – right by the railway station complete with its own amphitheatre. I for one will no doubt be down there – complete with scooters – in the coming weeks I am sure. http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/index.asp?pgid=208741

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