As I write this, I am sitting in a soft play place pretending to know where Little Person is. It’s a sunny day so most sensible people are out in the park or on the beach or doing any number of free things.
But Little Person is rarely up for doing something spontaneous, and somehow she realised that we were near the soft play place. And sometimes, there’s no good reason to say no.
Of course, the spontaneity of it means I didn’t come prepared. Nothing to occupy my hands or my mind apart from my phone and my other favourite hobby – people watching.
There’s the lady reading her “Heat” magazine, periodically pausing to type manically on her phone. There’s a coffee mug, half empty water bottle, empty crisp packet on the table. And now, a red faced daughter looking and smiling and scowling.
There’s a dad or three. With bottles of pop and vastly overpriced plates of food and children either super smartly dressed or in whatever didn’t need to be washed this morning.
There’s the mummy clubs huddled in the corners. With coffee cups and juice bottles and children nowhere to be seen. And gesticulating hands and sternly nodding faces. Outrage needs to be expressed, endorsed, carefully cultivated.
And unimpressed young men and women wipe tables, sweep floors, lounge against the entrance to the trampoline enclosure. Invisible, almost. Invisible enough.
I am sure I could learn lessons from these observations, extract a meaningful comment about society, and the roles we play. But instead, I watch Little Person: climbing and running and trying, skirting the loud kids to go down the slide. Hair flying backwards so I see the grin on her face. And then scrambling, climbing, up and up and up, curls bouncing so they are all I see. And then a hand waves and she’s sliding down again.
Sometimes I don’t need lessons.
Sometimes I just need a good day.