Up until this week I thought I’d probably killed all chances of taking the kids to the park ever again. Our conversations would go as follows:
Me: ‘Shall we go the park? The one with the big slides and the swings and the roundabouts?’
The Big One: ‘NO!’
Me: ‘The one with the big chair swing?’ (previously a favourite)
Me: ‘We can have LOTS of SNACKS!’
Me: ‘…And meth and a shot of tequila and maybe some heroin!’
Ok maybe not the last one, but you get the gist. All that traipsing to the park in all weathers and moods had obviously made the big one hate the very idea of dog walking, even when assaulted with approx 1 million bribes. So it came as a bit of a surprise yesterday when TBO’s response to my daily plea/bribery routine was met with something approaching agreement. This time our conversation went a bit like this:
Me: ‘Shall we go to the park with the fairies?’
It seems that sticking fairies* in the mix was all it would take to get TBO back onside and into ‘parking’ again. As a friend once put it: we are serial parkers.
The fairies in question are in the walled gardens at Pollok Park and are part of a magical experience which includes lots of other hidden gems, like dinosaurs. I have to admit that despite hundreds of visits to Pollok Park - and I mean literally hundreds - we only discovered the fairies a couple of months ago, thanks to Mum Friend with Dog, who, despite not dedicating her life to discovering dog walks, is always one step ahead of me when it comes to finding new walks. Woman! I cannot keep up.
The fairies have made all our lives, particularly the dog’s, much better. The fairies give us something to aim for, so the dog gets more than a tour of the car park and the bread trail by the river. I have to admit that I enjoy visiting the fairies almost as much as my kids do, because it’s so incredibly sweet. Fairy-sized postboxes, swimming pools, tennis courts and windmills. There’s even a hot air balloon.
The best thing is that I can assuage my guilt. No-one suffers! There’s no compromise or bribery! Are the kids happy? Yes. Is the dog walking more than 10 metres? Yes. Am I something approaching sane? Yes.
Happy dog plus kids and a modicum of sanity is about the most I can hope for these days. Thanks Pollok Park for delivering on all counts.
*To find the fairies in Pollok Park, park in the car park next to Pollok House. Head along past the house (house on your left, river on your right), towards the courtyard and stables. When you get to the courtyard, walk straight through and down the alleyway where the toilets are. Then take a left into the walled gardens. Turn right once in the walled gardens. The fairies are at the end of the walled gardens, just before the wall ends.