Shaky Ladder

Mrs J was away last weekend, so it was just me and G on Saturday and Sunday. Not that this is particularly unusual, given that I've looked after her for the last three-and-a-half years, and still have her at home with me a couple of days a week. But when you've got to stretch solo toddler entertaining to an extra couple of days, you have to ration your standard activities out slightly.

On Saturday morning, I took her dancing. This was the first time I'd been, and predictably enough I was the only dad in an ante-room of 15 or so mums, waiting around for our children to do their ballet class next door. Not that I could really hear what was going on, the overwhelming noise from another neighbouring room was of a group of eight-year-olds learning how to street dance to the Macarena. I don't think I'd heard the Macarena since about 1996, and it seemed pretty old hat to me even then. So goodness knows what today's pre-tweenies make of it. Perhaps it's this generation's Agadoo.

I decided to save a playground trip for Sunday, not least because the forecast was good. And it turned out to be beautifully sunny. Sunny enough in fact to take along G's bike, which she rode very slowly along the path to the playground in Parr Fold Park. This was clearly far too much like hard work, and she bounded off and ran towards the big climbing frame as soon as we got near it.

Then she stopped, puzzled as how to actually get up. Possibly aimed at slightly older children, the only ways onto the frame itself were via a couple of shaky rope ladders, which G didn't much like the look of at first glance. I encouraged her up one, step by step, lifting her foot up each time while supporting her back. Eventually, she scrambled up, slowly walked over to the slide, then came down. This was much more fun.

So much fun in fact, that she quickly forgot about any danger associated with going up the rope ladder, and trotted straight back to it, climbing up herself. She repeated this process about 38 times, briefly stopping once so I could take the photo of her peering back down at me. It all helped tire her right out, which as any parent will tell you, is always the most important thing.