It was a glorious day today – one of a long string, we are promised.  I feel for our friends in the US, shivering in snow, and family in Queensland, drenched in heavy rains and flooding.

We decided to take the kids for a scoot/walk along a popular beachfront.  There were lots of things going on: beach sports, market stalls, buskers, people swimming out to pontoons and diving off jetties.  Everyone was revelling in a “real summer” day.  We walked the length of the beach and back again, meandering through stalls, pausing for performances, and stopping for ice-creams – of course! – before heading back to the car.

We had been lucky, on such a busy day, to get a park quite easily.  There was a two-hour time limit.  We made it back right on the two-hour mark.  The car in front of us when we parked was still there… and so was a parking warden, giving it a ticket!

We bundled kids, scooters and helmets into the car without unseemly haste – we weren’t going to get a ticket, although if we’d been much longer obviously we would have been at risk – and as we drove off Babess asked about the parking warden and the ticket.

She thought the other car was lucky to get a ticket.  That puzzled us for a while, until The Dad understood her misunderstanding, and said, “It’s not a ticket for a show or anything!”

“Oh!” she said.  “What is it a ticket for, then?”

“It’s a naughty ticket,” I said.

“What’s a naughty ticket?  Why do you get a naughty ticket if you park for more than two minutes?”

“It’s two hours,” I corrected.  “You have to leave the car park within two hours, to give other people a turn.”

“But why?”

I reminded her that at daycare sometimes the teachers use a timer to make sure everyone gets a fair turn at a popular toy.  I said the parking limit is like that, because everyone wants to go to the beach but we can’t all fit so we have to take turns.  If you’re still there when your turn ends, the parking wardens are there to give you a “naughty ticket”.

She seemed satisfied.  I hope she doesn’t start handing out “naughty tickets” at daycare if she feels like she’s not getting a fair go!

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

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