A bit of parenting

Parque Infantil in Leon is a community project where kids and parents can go in the afternoon, play on swings, slides, seesaws, trampolines or borrow games like Lego, play dough and board games. It’s heaven for all of us and Anton and I treated us to a bit of Mommy and son time there today.
Since I am am Mom and even before I spend my share of time on playgrounds in Germany and the US (have been an au-pair, a nanny). And it’s been different everywhere. Here parenting is considerably different I just assume from watching people since my lack of Spanish (still ashamed to say so) doesn’t get me into contact with other mothers here.
I hardly see any strollers around and haven’t seen one baby carriage since we entered Central America. They might be used in big cities, I don’t know but they are utterly useless in rural areas where there are no sidewalks and streets are either dirt, cobble stone or just gaping big holes and dirt. All that gives it some charm to us city kids but I really wouldn’t like to push a stroller around here. Babies are carried. When they are very little in a thin blanket when they are older, just in their parents‘ or sibling’s arms. When they see us strapping that big „baby“ of ours in the baby carrier on our backs we seem a curiosity to many. People laugh and smile at us, maybe thinking „what’s the fuss about?“.
Sweets, lots of it everywhere. That’s another thing I’ve encountered. Sweet drinks, lollipops are very popular and are sold everywhere even on the playground next to fresh popcorn (yes, they do have a popcorn machine there). What Iooks very yummo are frozen fruit juices that are sucked out of little plastic bags. But I have a hard time telling Anton there isn’t ice cream/lollypops/… for us everyday.
At the parque I was a bit sad that I couldn’t speak to people because they seemed to eye us, watching what the strange lady with the blond boy who seems to speak non stop in a foreign language are doing. But then I realised, non of the parents were talking to each other. Everyone was very much concerned with their own kids.
Today, when Anton and I were getting really into the play dough one lady looked at me and she must have thought I was absolutely nuts. Her daughter joined us after a while (getting her school uniform all dirty which the mother probably wasn’t very fond of either), but couldn’t get her Mom to touch the dough. I guess there’s more distinction between what’s for kids and grown-ups. I don’t know. Or maybe I am just more at ease to make a fool out of myself sometimes.
After that Anton climbed up a ladder that leads to a path between two trees and climbed back down. He loves that and I ignored the sign that said kids must be six years old to go up (I do understand some Spanish) 😉 After that it was up the tree house, by that time a concerned father or volunteer from the park had an eye on Anton. He came to alert me that my baby was up the tree, telling me the climb down would be hard. With my little vocabulary, hands and smiles I told him Anton has done it before and that I wasn’t concerned. I let my kid try himself and I let him fall if not too dangerous, but it seemed to me that here kids are lifted up and down the swings, rocking horses, tree houses. And my lack of concern or willingness to follow suit must seem strange to some. Sometimes people just put Anton up or down when they see him trying. Everything is very loving but here’s to much fuss for my taste.
So it’s done differently everywhere and we all enjoy it very much. Anton and I had a very nice afternoon together, just the two of us with goofing around and lots of laughter.


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