Our after dinner routine often begins like this: “LET’S GET READY! READY! GET READY! YOU GOT YOUR HELMET? YOUR SHOES? LET’S GO!!!!!!” Often spoken as loudly as the capital letters imply.
And then E-Man runs to put on his shoes, grabs his helmet, gets put into his car seat and then our little red hatchback flies off into the night. No quiet time or winding down time for this family.
We often reach the park at around 9 pm. I know, most other toddlers are in bed before eight, but ours goes to bed about 10, well, ok 10-ish. I finish work late and because he has nothing better to do during the day than to sleep, eat, poop and play, so the night is family bonding time.
We almost always go to the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. It’s a beautiful space with a waterway running through it.
We often spend our time playing with this spinning top catapult that you catapult into the air so you can watch it fly with the breeze with its inbuilt LED light flickering away amongst the park lamps. E-Man loves this especially because he gets to pick up the top wherever it lands. Sometimes our spinning top catapult attracts other young kids who stop and watch us play. Sometimes I let them have a go as well. Most other times we bring our big bottle of bubbles and let E-Man run after the bubbles.
We aren’t the only ones in the park.
Once, as we walked towards the space we often occupy, we met an older couple dancing in rhythm with a ball and racquet. We were all mesmerised for a while. It looked a bit like tai chi or qi gong, but yet different. I had personally never seen anything like that before. E-Man loved it. He watched them for a while, enjoying the traditional Chinese music blaring from their small transistor radio.
After a while, when they stopped for a break, we went over to talk to them. Conversations always flow easily with a baby in your arms. They let him play with the ball and we realised the ball wasn’t as light as it seemed. They explained what they were practising was called “rhythm ball”, a form of tai chi (I think). They even gave me the opportunity to try out their steps. It was certainly not as easy as they made it look! They actually told me that there’s a lady who teaches a group of rhythm ball enthusiasts every Friday and Saturday evenings from 8 pm. I actually went to the park once during those times, but didn’t see anyone, sadly.
Another reason we like the park is because we get to see and meet so many dogs! E-Man is a HUGE animal lover. Every time he sees a little dog he HAS to go up and grab it. Much to the delight of the owner. They just love seeing a little baby run up to their dog to give it a big hug.
We also play catching and hide-and-seek. I can’t imagine anywhere else in the entire world where a baby can run completely uninhibited in a public park at 9 pm at night.
Oh, I guess at this juncture I should explain why he has to wear a helmet to the park. Yes. It’s because he runs TOO freely that sometimes he topples over. Most of the time it’s my fault because I play a serious(ly fun) game of catching with him. The park is so big and wide and safe that we just run like crazy people everywhere and once he ran too fast and toppled over head first on the path. I heard a thud. Do not judge me.
Needless to say, he has worn a helmet from that time on. It’s actually become a ritual for him. Like he knows that before he gets out of the car, he needs to put his helmet on. Then when he gets back into the car, he gets to take it out.
A few times since then, while playing hide-and-seek, he has accidentally bumped his head on a pole, which was completely pain-free. He even noticed the difference the helmut makes and insists on it when he goes out now.
Apart from the dog-walkers and rhythm ball dancers, I’ve come across late night picnic goers, cyclists, sword fighters, Thai boxers (I think?) and people just sitting on benches talking on phones.
It’s a really safe space for the community. I must also confess that there’s also a large MacDonald’s in the park. I’m not sure what the health conscious amongst us have to say about that, but we personally like it. We can go in and buy a cone anytime we want or even, I confess, chicken nuggets.
E-Man is also thoroughly tired out by the time we get home at 10. So by the time he gets home, he is completely spent and ready for bedtime. Really, raising E-Man is a walk in the park.
2 thoughts on “A Walk in the Park”
My friend said it’s a great place to bring a child for a walk! If only i can say the same thing about raising a child- a walk in the park! Lol
Thank you for stopping by!!! Yes, Bishan Park is a fantastic place to go to. We’ve been to some other parks around the area but Bishan Park is so far the best.