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why don't people "muck it up" anymore?

(61 Posts)
DaddyCool Tue 22-Feb-05 15:22:50

We live by a very nice park. Big, playing fields, forested area, formal gardens, kids play equipment, squirrels, four full time gardeners etc. It won Britain in Bloom a few years in a row and there are no hazards. No horrible stuff like used syringes or condoms. Not even any dog poo. I keep my eyes open for these things!

It’s always empty . We take DS there everyday or at least DW takes DS there on weekdays and me on weekends. DS has a few sets of mucky clothes and so do we and we go over and get muddy and play with a ball and have a great time. The only people I ever see with young kids are Dad’s who look extremely bored and spend all of 10 minutes pushing their kids on the swings or Mums on their way back from town plastered in make up and wearing three inch heels who completely by-pass the park and go straight home.

The park is surrounded on all sides by townhouses and terraces mostly made up of young families and it’s a pretty decent area so why don’t we see anyone? I don’t understand why people don’t take their kids out and do this kind of thing anymore. Is it that…

1. People think they are too posh these days to do this?
2. People feel there are hazards and don’t want to take the risk?
3. People can’t be arsed?

I don’t understand it. Does anyone else have any views?

Gobbledigook Tue 22-Feb-05 15:26:19

Don't know DC because we live in a quite an affluent area if you like, but the parks are always full of people.

Must admit - I'm a bit nesh and really don't like being cold so I'm not a mega park lover in winter though I'm there most days in the summer. Winter time I tend to do soft play, do cutting and sticking/playdoh/krispie cake type activities or have friends over/visit other people. The odd park visit is thrown in, otherwise I let the kids out in the garden and I'll get on with stuff in the kitchen where I can see them.

DH takes them to the park at weekends though.

Gobbledigook Tue 22-Feb-05 15:28:17

OH, and I should add - it's just a bit tricky for me atm too as I've got 2 toddlers (almost 4 and 2) plus a 5 month old so although perfectly possible, a bit of a pain in the arse to get them all in the car (parks are not walking distance and we live on a main road), get them out and safely into the park and to keep an eye on both toddlers while staying close to the buggy. So tend to do this more with dh.

Bozza Tue 22-Feb-05 15:29:51

I take DS and DD to the playground (couldn't really classify it as a park) about once a week. A bit cold for us to stay long because DD is only 9 months and so not moving about but refuses to wear a snowsuit. DD loves the swings though. Nobody is ever there.

DaddyCool Tue 22-Feb-05 15:32:46

i can understand where gobble is coming from. we literally overlook the park though and so do alot of other people. it's right in town next to the town hall and surrounded by houses within easy walking distance.

DS is 19 mths and if we don't take him to the park to knacker him out, he doesn't go to sleep!

Keane Tue 22-Feb-05 15:32:54

I think it is the weather. i went into town earlier and there was no-one about

parks generally are emptier. maybe its the amount of people who both have to work? thus only having weekends to go there?

marialuisa Tue 22-Feb-05 15:35:02

We don't take DD to the local parks because they ARE full of dog shit, syringes etc.

Bozza Tue 22-Feb-05 15:35:02

Actually our playground is nothing special but is fairly under-utilised in the summer and at weekends as well. Actually I say under-utilised - there is often evidence of alcopops and vodka bottles there. I think daddycool has a point that it is no longer a popular thing to do.

tarantula Tue 22-Feb-05 15:36:12

I love going for a long tramp through our local park. Its more of a wild kinda park than a formal one and has some really good walks. Often take the kite there or dss's rockets and pump-up plane.Usually end up at the playground but never stay that long there at the minute as its too cold. Come the summer tho well prob be there for hours. Must say its well used near the gates but not when you get in a bit further. the playground there is the only one in the area that seems to be well used. We have one right next to the supermarket and Ive never seen anyone else there except us.

DaddyCool Tue 22-Feb-05 15:43:22

our park is dead in the summer as well. a real shame.

triceratops Tue 22-Feb-05 15:43:32

Just got back from the park. It is freezing. Ds likes walking along just picking things up (Mummy this leaf is clean and this leaf is dirty!) and jumping in puddles. Our parks are quite well used all year round and they are always kept very clean and child friendly.

I have to admit that I need the inducement of a cup of tea and a cake to get me to the park as I find it deadly boring.

Donbean Tue 22-Feb-05 15:47:19

Dog shit im afraid.
Although i got DS some wellies thinking that it wouldnt matter if he got it on them as i could rinse them with the outside hose.......He got caked in the stuff and fell, then wanted me to pick him up, got it all over my coat, i had to carry him on one arm, wellies in the other because i took the blessed things off.
Was furious, knackard and pissed off with every dog walker i saw after that!
It is a real bug bear for me im afraid,disgusting habbit...bring back capital punishment for all those dog walkers who allow their dog to shit, then leave it.

miggy Tue 22-Feb-05 15:54:36

My cousin from london came to visit us in t'country last weekend, we went to the village shop and she said " I cant believe how muddy children are here!"
I hadnt even noticed

marialuisa Tue 22-Feb-05 15:55:50

Donbean-my DH would second that. I'm scared stiff he's going to get punched one day as he is always confronting people about leaving their dog dhit behind! Amazingly, the prevailing view in our area is that it's not a big deal....lots of letters to local papers about dog owners being "victimised".

tarantula Tue 22-Feb-05 16:21:42

That is one of my bugbears too I HATE dogpoo left lying around. It drives me mad but I must admit most people in our local park are very good at picking it up after them thankfully. Really like alot the parks/nature reserve places we have in our area and we go for lots of walks in them. Im not very keen on more formal park (with just grass and football pitches etc) I must admit as I find many to be very bare and depressing and bleak.

Enid Tue 22-Feb-05 16:26:30

my god, you should come and live here Daddycool, my kids get filthy two or three times a day (muddy lane, muddy fields) and when they are finally in the house they PAINT. I have to change dd2 in particular at least twice a day. She's snotty too which doesnt help. My kids are filthy.

But people are right about dog poo, it is gross and one of the horrid thing about parks

DaddyCool Tue 22-Feb-05 16:31:26

a filthy kid is a healthy happy kid IMO enid

Frizbe Tue 22-Feb-05 16:35:40

My dh thinks I'm mad, I dragged us all out to a country park for a walk and a play on the adventure park bit on Saturday, then on Sunday when dh claimed he was too ill to go anywhere, the rest of us bailed out to my parents, took the footie down the river, which was surprisingly warm and sheltered, then went to the park again! only coming home, when dd was starting to feel cold (although she now has developed a horrible cold, but I'm pretty sure this wasn't brought on my me taking them outside was it?)
I guess I was brought up as an outside kinda person, and this has stayed with me, dh on the otherhand prefers the warmth of his own home!

Xena Tue 22-Feb-05 16:36:31

I often go to my local park as we have a 2yo Lab and 3DC who also have lots of 'mucky' clothes. But a couple of times i've have been scared and not gone for a while because of lurking men (hope its not you DC!) Maybe this puts other women off the idea?

DaddyCool Tue 22-Feb-05 16:38:46

what!? of course it's not me! LOL.

JoolsToo Tue 22-Feb-05 16:40:50

You can bet your boots that local families get togged up at weekends and drive miles 'for a day out' instead of using local amenities - I think you just don't see things when you live with them.

It's like really admiring European cities and the buildings therein but you never look at the architecture in your own city.

Bozza Tue 22-Feb-05 16:43:26

Frizbe of course not. Much more likely to pick up a cold indoors.

tarantula Tue 22-Feb-05 16:46:05

thats a good point Xena. We used to live near Hounslow Heath and I liked walking there but dp was very nervous about me doing that on my own. There was a playground which backed onto the heath and he wouldnt let me take dss there on my own either esp after what happened on Wimbledon Common.

DaddyCool Tue 22-Feb-05 16:48:30

it's a good point. there has been problems in the area but very late at night.

posyhairdresser Tue 22-Feb-05 16:51:36

I am a park addict but there are not many of us in my area!

Parks are mainy used by foreigners - tourists, visiting academics and au pairs. I just don't know why the locals don't go.

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