in the park?
I had to talk with a young mother yesterday. She has a problem with her eldest school going child and she wanted to talk to me. She does not work because she needs to be available at short notice to get this particular child from school.
"I need to get out of the house, even if it just for a short time," she told me, "Can we meet for coffee?"
I thought of the lively two year old and said, "What if we take Tom to the park instead?"
"Oh, he'd love that!"
So, we head for the park. There are swings, a climbing frame and a rocker shaped like a duck.
Released from the stroller Tom heads straight for the rocker, climbs in, rocks for a bit, climbs out, pushes a swing, climbs the frame, runs around and around the big tree. We watch and call out approval. He comes backwards and forwards.
His mother talks and talks. I make some suggestions. I try to keep them very simple and make them things that the family can follow through without major changes to routine or singling out of one child.
All the time Tom is busy. He has found out the blocks on one side of the climbing frame can be rolled over to make "X" and "O" for noughts and crosses. He is too young to play the game but he recognises that they change. He 'hides' from us and comes back laughing.
"You know, I never brought Chris to the park. He would have loved it too. Somehow I never made the time. I've only been here a couple of times with Tom. We used to come all the time when I was a kid. Kids don't seem to use it much now. I suppose it's all the mothers working thing."
It's not too late. We add visits to the park as something they can do. I just hope it is fine enough on Saturday for Chris's father to push his son on the swings.