Why I'm Never Going to the Playground Again

>> Thursday, September 30, 2010

Today I was feeling guilty because I rarely take my son to the playground. We go to the library, the community centre, shopping, and for long daily walks. As soon as he gets over this cold we will start swimming. Still, he loves the playground and I should take him more often. So I put him in our cheap umbrella stroller (because our good stroller is too difficult for me to lug up and down the stairs of our walk-up), and we set off.

Halfway through our journey, I remember why we don't make this trek more often. Though there are about 3 elementary schools less than a ten minute walk away from us, none of them have playgrounds. In my opinion, this is a travesty, but I'll save that for another post. There are no playgrounds anywhere around. We have to walk at least 25 minutes to get to one, which may not seem so long. But then there's the actual playing, and then the 25 minutes back, and. . .

Anyway. When we finally arrived, I came to the end of the path, and remember the second reason why we don't do this more often. There are hiking and biking trails all through our city (one great thing about this crappy town), but for some reason they stop short of any playround structure. So I had to push my flimsy stroller across a giant, wet football field (apparently it rained last night) to get to the equipment. By the time I arrived, my feet were soaked.

I pushed my kid in the swing for awhile, but his eye kept going back towards a red soccer ball that someone had left behind (along with two pairs of shoes and socks--WTH?). He kept pointing and saying "Ba, ba" and because I am just so proud of him for picking up this new word, I decided to put him out of his misery and play a little ball with him.

We chased the ball through the wet grass. I kicked it to him, and then he'd pick up up and throw it back to me. It was rather unfortunate that he hasn't grasped the concept of soccer, because his hands were all wet and covered in sand and grass in no time at all.

Pretty soon a man arrived with his dog. His giant dog. One that resembles a wolf. He was trying to pull his dog away from us, I was trying to keep my son away from him, but of course both the baby and the dog wanted to be friends and it was a little bit of a challenge ensuring that my kid didn't run over there and poke the poor man's dog in the eyes. Or that the poor man's wolf-dog didn't bite my kid's face off.

When that crises was averted, we went back to playing ball. I noted that the umbrella stroller was much easier to push through the grass when My Sweet Baboo wasn't in it, so I thought, 'we'll continue to play ball, and we'll kick/throw the ball in the direction of the path while I push the stroller, and then when we get to the path the game will be over and we'll head home.'

I swear Baboo figured out what I was thinking, because the minute I started to push the stroller over, he took off in the other direction. I repeatedly tried to kick the ball in the general direction of the path, and he repeatedly threw it the other way and ran off laughing. Eventually he spotted a juicebox in the storage compartment of the stroller and toddled over to take a look. I seized this opportunity to grab him and strap him in, and he was not happy. He started to holler, and he hollered all the way home. No amount of juice boxes or Cheese Ritz could appease him. 25 minutes with a screaming toddler, hollering at the injustice of not being able to live at the park, is enough to drive anyone loca.

And that's why I'm never going to the playground again.

A rare photo of my actual kid.
 Where will you never again go? Tell me I'm not the only one whose had a monstrous experience somewhere that should have been fun!


ABCSteed October 2, 2010 at 5:14 PM  

you're definitely NOT the only mama who struggles with this. my little monkey is an expert at the "jello escape" when his whole body goes limp in an effort to slide out of my grasp while I try to put him in the stroller or the carseat...

last week, I was going to take him to the park (a ten minute walk there, 20 minutes of play, 10 minute walk back) but he refused to get in the stroller, so by the time we got NEAR the park, 25 minutes had already gone by, so I just turned back (before he saw the park) and walked home.
It was a long walk, but MAN did he sleep well!!

Thanks for your stories, you make me feel like I'm not alone in this crazy motherhood thing.


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