The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Rebirth of Central Park

When we first moved to our new neighbourhood I was surprised how there were no toddler-friendly playgrounds nearby. Lots of green-spaces, but none with the sand, swings and slides The Boy loves to play on. The closest is Central Park, a 10-minute drive from our house, but even the Central Park playground was a bit too old for him; the knobs, wheels, swings and slides were all just out of his reach. We sucked it up though because it was either there or nothing. Then the parks board decided to construct an infant playground, and last week The Boy and I got a chance to play there.

It was perfect, everything was his height and there was lots of sand around for him to play in (and to my dismay - lots of sand to eat too). He had a hoot there, running from swing to slide to sand pit to swing. We're definately coming again.

Another reason I like going to parks with The Boy is a chance to meet other parents in the area. In our old neighbourhood it was a great way to socialize, meet new people and exchange stories. Central Park is a pretty popular, so there were lots of other parents around. A perfect chance for me to meet some of the other parents in our new neighbourhood.

No one spoke to me.

The other Asian parents aren't all that friendly to strangers it would appear, and the English-speaking parents must have thought I was one of the anti-social Asian parents, so they ignored me too. I guess it didn't help that I spoke to The Boy mostly in Chinese, further perpetuating the "I no speaky Engrish" image.

Asian parents keeping to themselves I can relate to. If they were raised anything like I was they don't talk to strangers because:

  1. Strangers will kidnap your kids.
  2. Strangers will follow you home, break into your house, steal your valuables, and kidnap your kids.
  3. Strangers will poison your food, then kidnap your kids.
  4. Any combination of the above.

Yeah, my Mom and Dad were a bit over protective. I was terrified of strangers growing up.