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Nature’s splash pad

Nature’s splash pad

Murphyskid is a super outdoorsy child. I guess it’s the only kind of kid there is in the summer here. At almost four now, she’s fully articulate, knows what she wants and doesn’t, and is super vocal about it most times. Something I’m loving! I was never very good at parenting either blobby baby or irrational toddler. I’m much more on board with this new avatar of the child. So a lot of the time I let her make decisions about the smaller things; hence, outdoors it is! As much as we can.

Most of our outdoor time does tend to be in urban settings. Sure we go to the park but more often than not it’s the splash pad, or the slides and swings. Nothing earth shatteringly ‘close to nature’ about that.

Last weekend we took a little drive out into Caledon. We love to go pay homage at the altar of the cider gods, so it’s a trip we make every so often. Spirit Tree Cidery is a great spot with lots of place outside for baby girl to run around and have a good time. However, her energy is rarely burned off completely without some running around at the Forks of the Credit Provincial Park.

credit river

This time, I noticed as we walked towards the Credit River that she was not terribly pleased. Unimpressed by the reeds in her face as she walked, uneven terrain and bugs flitting about lazily she whined and asked to be carried. I countered that she should slow down and enjoy nature, and that was more important than getting to the destination. Entirely unconvinced, as she got a bit of a spider web on her arm, she said fervently, “I hate nature!”

Oh no… no, no, no, no!

Our love for city living must not a cranky, nature-hating child make! And arguing in these circumstances rarely achieves anything.

So we continued to walk holding hands, her and me; moderately grumpy. We went down a slightly slippery slope in the last stretch leading to the river. That seemed to excite her a little, the path to the water. When we got there, I told her she could wade in a bit seeing as it was a beautiful day, and she had on her little Crocs. (Not before she first tried it barefoot and whined about how it hurt her feet, though.)

nature's splash pad

Very quickly she got into it. What’s not to like? It’s splashing in lovely, cool water on a hot day. Once she was entirely smitten, I asked her if she liked nature’s splash pad. I got a resounding yes!

This summer we’re going to try and go to nature’s various splash pads as much as we can. And hopefully, this particular round of nature hatred is averted.

Do you have a story of the challenges of raising a child in the city? I’d love to hear it and gain your wisdom in the comments below!

Carrots and Peace
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