When we first came to the US, one of the thing that fascinated me was the playground at MacDonald. They were HUGE! even so in relativity to a kid! It was a humongous thing that was sheltered and kids were allowed to run inside, maybe like running in a maze as when you were inside…esp for a little boy like Mal, you couldn’t tell where each turns would bring you to. It did not register to me as a fun place, rather it was bit scary and maybe even claustrophobic. But still, the kids love them. Maybe as adults, we tend to think too much and worry too much and thus we tend to miss out all the fun.
We tried to bring Mal to MacDonald a few times to let him try out the playground but he was never interested. He would rather sit beside us and have his hotcake meal…watching other kids scream and run in and out the little holes. He was probably too shy to join the other kids and also too small to be running around alone in this humongous plaything. The minimum age to play is 3 years old.
Just before Daddy left for his 2 weeks detachment, we brought Mal again to the nearby MacDonald for breakfast. It was early Sunday morning and playground was empty…we encouraged him to give it a try. He was hesistant and we could tell he was scared. He wanted Daddy to join him. Luckily this particular MacDonald allows parents to get into the playground…as it was stated in the rules. Even with Daddy tagging behind him, Mal was afraid. He dared not move about much inside the playground…not knowing what would happen with each climb and each fall. Finally even Mummy joined in! After an hour or so of persuasion and encouragment, he was beginning to relax more and enjoy the plaything more. But still he needs us to be constantly be with him.
When Daddy was not around, I brought him to the MacDonald playground twice. Each time with some other kids whom we know. The 1st one was back to the nearby MacDonald. He did not need me to join him as there were ??s whom he knew playing with him. He had a great time. The 2nd time was to a different MacDonald. This time, he was not familiar with the setup of the playground…still…with the company of another ?? who was 2 years his senior, he had fun at the playground. I was abit worried though, as the playground definitely looks too big and challenging for a small kid like Mal. When I stood outside and watched him played…I realised that to be able to run around this humongous thing required quite a bit of courage and independence from a young boy like Mal. It was a milestone for my little boy.