When we got the library I unpacked our umbrella stroller, removed the children from the car and went to the main doors of the library - closed! Apparently the library opens at 10 am on a Saturday and not 9:30 as anticipated (had we really never made it out of the house before 10 am on a Saturday before?). So what do we do now? Sit and wait outside for 30 minutes? - hardly a practical idea with nothing with me to entertain my 16 month old daughter or 4 year old son. Go home and try again later? Any parent will know that the ordeal of getting out the house in the morning is difficult enough without going home and doing it all over again later in the day. So instead I decided to venture down the path at the back of the library, which I'd never been down before, and see if there was a conveniently placed kids playground.
So off we trundled down the concrete path - child number one on foot and two in her stroller. The concrete gave way to gravel - blast the tiny plastic wheels of the stroller dug in and I ended up half-carrying, half-dragging the stroller on, still in search of a 'please be there' kids playground. And then the gravel disappeared and we were suddenly in a grassy expanse next to a stream, no playground in sight.
Marvelled by the countryside vista at the back of the industrial estate the library is on I decided that a half hour of exploring might easily pass the time with the kids, especially seeing as there was a field filled with cows in the distance. However, seeing as my 16 month old is drawn to water and I didn't have a spare set of clothes with me, my youngest needed to stay in the stroller and enjoy the view. To get to the field of cows was just a grass track beside the stream and to say that my stroller wasn't designed for it was an understatement - why of why hadn't I bought my urban jungle with me?
Thirty minutes later we had visited the cow field, perfected our 'mooing' sound effects, taken a look at some local pukekos and headed back to the library - after dragging, lifting and carrying the stroller I was exhausted and couldn't wait to get home.
When my husband suggested we go for a walk the next day to a local park, I instantly knew that I wanted to take our urban jungle . Dusty up and down tracks on sand dunes and soil dotted with stones followed by a walk along the beach on the way back were no match for my urban jungle - I'll never substitute it EVER again!
- Danie Wigzell