So a few days after Christmas, Cristina suggested we take the kids to Booran Reserve Playground, this multimillion dollar park in Glen Huntly where I was lucky enough to get Jeff to drive me and Raven because I get a bit anxious driving to places I’ve never been to.
And besides, I realized I like being driven around. I think I was born to have a chauffeur at my disposal but due to some sort of karmic twist, I was born middle class instead. Guess Jeff will have to do.
The park itself was huge. If I knew you could pitch a tent there, I would’ve brought our popup one to shield us from the great Australian heat — the kind that punctures through your epidermis and goes straight into your bone. Like a laser beam. But you don’t sweat the heat out because it’s not humid. Which is good in a sense that it spares you from those embarrassing underarm sweat marks. But it’s bad because it feels like being in an oven tormented by thoughts of melanoma and am i wearing enough sunscreen? That is, if I slop some at all because chances are, I don’t. (I know, I know.) But I’m not exactly a sun worshipper. Sunbathing isn’t — and was never — my thing. But I adore sunrises and sunsets. That’s where you’ll find me.
And so like a little rat (speaking of, anyone know where I can buy those bloody Rapid Antigen Tests in the southeast? They’re like fucking unicorns at the moment.), I scurry towards the shade away from the sun and the heat, only to find myself shivering and cold and cursing at the temperature extremes. You can never win, can you?
Raven, on the other hand, won the jackpot on this day. She had so much fun playing in the water fountains. Cristina advised me to pack a swimsuit and some change of clothes for her, which I did. I also prepared her water bottle, even packed some snacks of strawberries and cheese and biscuits. I was pretty damn proud of myself. I finally felt like one of those perfect moms who’s got all her child’s needs covered when they’re out and about.
Until I discovered I forgot to bring a towel.
But, as luck would have it, Cristina brought some of Klara’s outgrown clothes to give to Raven and one of them was a towelling robe!
Never underestimate the workings of the universe.
It was really nice to watch Raven’s confidence grow in going up the climbing wall before going down the big slide next to it. She had that little routine on loop.
Up, down. Up, down. Up, down.
Meanwhile, I watched a Caucasian older lady in midi summer skirt and low platform heels holding on to a toddler and for her dear life as the young one climbed up the steep rubber steps.
“You okay there?” I asked, ready to swap places with her if she was happy to.
“Grandmas are not supposed to do this!” she replied, and we both laughed.
As it was still the holidays, there weren’t a lot of cafes or restaurants open around the area. But we did find a Chinese restaurant around the block whose big as menu was displayed on two walls — one for chicken and the other for pork and beef. Jeff and I didn’t know this as we stared at the chicken wall for a good 10 minutes running through the list for the beef dish that he thought of getting.
“Um, the other half of the menu is at your back,” the staff pointed behind us.
After which, the girls exchanged their belated Christmas presents, with Klara concluding that next time, they’re having their playdate at home because Raven was too distracted doing her own thing at the park that they never really got the chance to properly play with each other.
*Raven at 5 years old