A walk and some fears


This morning we took the girls out for a walk, down the boardwalk from Labrador Park MRT down to the marina, and then along to the Harbourfront mall. The day had started sunny but turned gloomy by nine, but at least that meant it wasn’t hot. I continue to be astonished by Destroyer’s speed, as she insisted on walking almost all the way (a good couple of kilometres).

At Harbourfront, we stopped for food. I was almost narcoleptic with fatigue and that wasn’t something that a chocolate chip cookie from Starbucks would cure. There’s a play area on top of the mall with squirting jets of water (suitable for Destroyer) and a climbing area which most certainly isn’t suitable for La Serpiente, but predictably she loved it.

The sign says it’s for six to twelve rear olds but there were lots of children La Serpiente’s age crawling over it, and kindly Singaporean parents hectoring them with encouraging statements like "you’ll fall off and break your legs!" (Although that is at least more sympathetic than the mother in my building, who I overheard telling her son "if you fall off, I’ll laugh at you" as he clambered over a different climbing frame.)

This one was worse: it consists of lots of cylindrical frames, about 18 inches in diameter, with horizontal piping every foot or so. That’s practical for a ten year old but death defying for a three year old. The frames disappear up into a concrete roof, so La Serpiente would disappear from view, and then either return by sliding down a slide (my preferred option) or diving through a hole in the roof and latching onto a fireman’s pole to descend.

She loved it, I was in perpetual fear she’d crater into the ground, or have another child fall on her (children don’t understand about not climbing under other climbers) or being knocked off by a ten year old. How we both survived without concussion or me having g a heart attack I don’t know. My wife remarked unkindly about how stressed I look, but that isn’t easy if you’re constantly on the lookout for dive-bombing kinder.

After that excitement (and going to Marks & Spencer to buy cake and biscuits) the afternoon could never compete. I went to the supermarket with La Serpiente to buy more groceries, spilt a punnet of blueberries on the floor and got most irate when La Serpiente tried to pick some up and eat them. Otherwise, I stuck to reading Stephen King’s It, and listening to Stan Rogers, like I wish I lived in the 1980s. Call it a throwback after the terror of the morning…


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