Tuesday, 13 January 2015

It takes a village to raise a child.

Dog looking after Zig and being very brave given the farty nature of that backside.

Well bugger that! Today Zig and I trooped off to the Southport Broadwater Park. This was his choice as he fondly remembered the last time we were there and all the fun he had jumping off the Lego Man Pontoon.

A bit of rain wasn't going to deter us.

We parked up and yet again I was appalled at the slight of hand by the GCCC in raising the parking costs by nearly 25% and hiding it beneath a healthy does of, 'how the fuck does this work?' parking meters.

I held another 'how to lesson', shoved in the card and then we were off to the beach.

I did wonder whether there were any blue bottles as the wind was coming from the north east, but we didn't see anything untoward so were in in a flash.

The rain had kept normal people away, and so there was no waiting at the pontoon ladder and no traffic congestion on the run up to the launching of bodies off it.

There were 2 other small boys, I imagine younger than Zig, playing and daring each other with increasingly dangerous feats. I could see Zig wondering about joining in, but he could see the escalation and chose to entertain his Ma instead. We swam and raced and played and he bomb dived and performed for points.

The whole time these 2 kids were unsupervised.

At one point Zig ran and jumped off the far end of the pontoon and so I could not see him. I swam quickly to Lego man's head and was relieved to see Zig climbing up the ladder. Had he hit trouble on that far side I would not have been able to get to him before he drowned. This worried me and a new rule was issued and after that all jumps and dives were to be on my side of the floating fella.

I kept an eye on the 2 boys.

When enough was more than enough and we were both pooped, we headed to shore and towels and car. On our way we passed the 2 boys, still on their own, now dicing with severe injury misusing  some crazy tyre seesaw thing.

I was not thrilled to have looked after them in the water and so did not stop to chat to them on the equipment. I wondered who their parents thought were checking on 'em. I wondered what would happen if either of the  boys came to harm. I got cross that no-one seemed to think these fellas were worthy of their time and attention and care.

Over the weekend Steve and I saw a possie of young fellas in the park and the village shops. They were riding their bikes and playing and sucking on ice blocks and having a great time. They were unsupervised too. But there was more of 'em and they were older, and if help was needed help could have been found, and even with all the rain it was unlikely that they could have drowned in a puddle.

I know that kids today need time to explore, and this time to themselves is a rarity, that I took for granted when I was growing up, and I am not one to usually jump to the 'stranger danger' cry or look for danger where there is none, but I feared for these 2 boys today, and thought that their parents needed a good talking to.

There was a plea earlier from the Surf Life Savers asking parents to stay on the beach with their kids and not use the Life guards as free babysitters, while they sneak off for a beer or a bit of holiday rumpy pumpy.

It's the danger and the responsibility issues which make me wonder about the whole Village thing, should we fear the Village Idiot, or is it the Village idiots sending their kids off on their own?

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