All posts tagged: playground

#itgetsworse

Half way along a 5-hour road-trip with my boys when they were ages 3 and 1, I made a stop at Ikea. It was a “good enough” way to eat and run around. I mean…Ikea. It’s a blast for parents and kids. (Insert suicidal emoji, here.) Other families had my same idea: use the kids’ area as a playground. Not the supervised play area. Like: bedroom set-ups and display toys. As I parented diligently (scrolling Facebook), the woman next to me asked, “19 months apart?” “Yep. Good guess.” Pointing at her 5 and 3 year-olds, she said, “I have the same age difference.” Then, stretching her neck and sighing, she added, “I’m sorry. It gets so much worse.” Cue: spit take. I reflected on my anti-#itgetsbetter moment when talking with a friend who called, crying, “My baby’s crying in the crib, my 6-year-old is on his 3rd hour of TV, and I’m just crying as I clean up spilled milk. Am I a terrible mother?” “No,” I sympathetically laughed with her. “I know it’ll get …

Savage Children

Recently my boys and their friends were beating the shit out of each other. A group of families from our preschool had a group play-date using Imagination Blocks (my computer’s freaking out and I can’t insert hyperlinks. But having immediate visual of Imagination Playground Blocks isn’t something to lose sleep over.) Predictably, our wild ones used the foam blocks and cylinders to wail on each other. We parents let them get some rough-housing out of their systems as we marveled, “They really are savages, aren’t they?” That prompted more questions: “Is violence in our fundamental nature? Should we just let them go at it? Are we adults repressing our violence? Do we grow out of it? Should we indulge or deny it?” Watching the kids reminded me of my favorite college philosophy professor. She was a quintessential Boulder, Colorado, hippy: long, gray hair parted in the middle, ragamuffin dresses, Birkenstocks, patchouli aroma. I miss that world. Anyway, she marveled to the class while discussing the formation of societies: “I allow no play guns for my …

Dear Other Dude at the Playground…

Dear Other Dude at the Playground on Saturday – I couldn’t fight the need to write you about an incident between our kids.Remember me? I was the dad with the son wearing a pink dress. Before he burst onto the playground, and as I parked the car, he was positively vibrating. I asked, “Now…you’re sure you want to wear your dress?” He shouted in response, “Yes! Because I want to show everyone how beautiful I am in this beautiful dress!” It was a big deal for him; and for me. He hasn’t asked to wear a dress “out,” before. I didn’t fight it. Who cares, right? Or so we’d like to think. As you noticed, he couldn’t contain his excitement showing off the dress to the only two kids playing…your daughter and her friend. He skipped and twirled and chased them for ten minutes shouting, “Do you like my dress? I’m wearing a dress! Can I play with you? Will you play with me?” Remembering those ten minutes fills me with emotion…because his unencumbered joy …

SCREW SUNSETS, I WANT MY IPAD

The other day I read a spot-on post by a mother lamenting the fact that her kids don’t look out at the river when they’re driving. Instead, their faces are buried in touch screens. Screw my kids’ appreciation. What about my burning desire to stare at a touch screen? I stand at the playground and challenge myself to see how long I can hold off checking texts. Sometimes I make it two and a half minutes…if Colton isn’t gleefully stealing toys from younger kids. Once I’ve extracted the phone and glanced at the home page alerts, I might as well swipe, punch my code, and see if emails jumped from 13 to 14. Maybe a life-changing message arrived in the ninety seconds since I slipped the phone into my pocket (to unload the stroller). Yes, I was scrolling HuffPost while pushing the stroller to the playground. I might not have looked up as I crossed streets, dodged an old lady using a walker, and avoided dog poop. Busy bodies might think I never looked up …