Sometimes it’s best to just watch

It’s tempting as a parent to try to solve all the problems that our children are faced with. I know that’s my first instinct. 

Today at the park, I sat and watched as my son struggled with a tyre about half his height. I knew he wanted to transport it from point A to point B somewhere. I thought to myself, “How’s he going to do this?”

Eventually, he got the tyre up on its side and rolled it as you can see in this picture. I was quite impressed that a 2-year-old realised this was the best way to move a tyre.

  
It would have been cruel of me to make him build the construction that he wanted to put together though. So I let him instruct me. This is what he built. A slightly older kid actually copied him (you can see a similar structure in the background). 

  
If he doesn’t turn out to be a famous rugby player, influenced by his current hero Goromaru Ayumu, I think he would make a great foreman. Especially if he is happy to lead by example!

Active against passive smoking 受動喫煙に反対

  
Saw this in the park near the maternity hospital where my third child was born yesterday. 

I had to take my daughter out of school for the day because nobody was going to be home to let her in. While my wife and new baby were sleeping, I took her over to the park. 

Park signs usually just say “please don’t smoke near the playground equipment”. I have been known in my time to tell people off for smoking near my children. But this is the first time for me to see this kind of sign in any park in Japan. 

This handwritten effort signed by the Omori Townscape Maintenance Department looks like it was instigated by parent power.

It says:

In order to protect children from passive smoking, please refrain from smoking.

I’d like to see more of these signs in parks around Japan, and not just a handwritten one cobbled together by the local maintenance department!

昨日、3番目の子が生まれた産院近くの公園で手書き看板を見ました。

誰も家にいなかったから、長女を学校から早退させなければならなくて、出産後、妻との新しい赤ちゃんが眠っている間に、お昼そうして公園に長女を連れて行きました。

公園にある看板は通常「遊具の近くに喫煙しないでください」という風に書いてあります。時々自分の子供の近くに喫煙の人を発見したら注意することがありますが、今回初めて、この様な看板を見ました。

これから、日本の公園でこの様な看板をもっと見たいなあと思います。その上、手書きの「維持課」からではなく、もうちょっときちんとしたところから、もっと公式的な感じだったらさらに良いのではないかと思います。

Shinagawa Kumin Park

While out walking with my family yesterday, we happened upon a great park that we never even knew was there! 

Tokyo and the surrounding area is home to about 37 million people, and so green space is quite hard to come by. 

A couple of hours after our discovery, I eagerly went out to run around it! It’s only a short distance from where we live and has now become my new favourite place to run!!! 

I haven’t yet paced it out properly. But Shinagawa Kumin Park (Shinagawa Kumin Kouen 品川区民公園) has a running / walking course of about 2 kilometres with all kinds of exercise bars, benches and beams all around. Shinagawa refers to the ward that the park is located in. And Kumin doesn’t refer to the spice associated with Indian food (sorry, my poor attempt at humour) but rather means “citizen of the ward”.

It has great playing facilities for the kids, an aquarium, restaurants and even a barbecue area.

Anyway, don’t recommend it to too many people, we should just keep this paradise to ourselves! 🙂
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