Friday, April 29, 2011

Top Ten Unwritten Rules of the Playground

Here's the thing about the playground: Schmidt happens.  So we've come up with some rules for making the most of the time when your kids get to run around, make too much noise and wear themselves out so that maybe, possibly - they'll go to bed early.  It's OK to dream the impossible dream - it could happen.

10. There will be playground disputes.  Settling such skirmishes can be touchy.  If there's problem between two kids, the one who's crying is generally acknowledged as the de-facto victim. Even if he's the kid holding the tree branch like it's a baseball bat.

9. Mommies are only responsible for providing snacks for their own offspring.  Do not provide vittles for strange children no matter how pitiful and Oliver Twist-y they are.  They might have food allergies or actually be Gremlins who must not be fed fruit roll-ups after midnight or given juice boxes.

8. It is perfectly acceptable to parent other people's kids if they are creating an "imminent harm" situation.  But if you start to helicopter random shorties on the playground, you're going to get told off by a mom who doesn't appreciate your interference.  It's a slippery slope people, use The Force on this one. 

7. If your kid is on the little merry-go-round ride, you. have. to. push. Why is it that the kid that spends two straight hours on that ride has the mom who is sitting across the park with a Skinny Latte? My left arm is starting to look like Popeye's, and just as soon as my kid gets off the ride, I'm gonna come over there and treat you like a can of spinach. 

We know it's totally inappropriate.
It's also totally awesome.
6. Slides are easy -- all it requires is one tiny heinie and gravity. Sit. Go down. No feet, no dirt, no climbing up the slide, no acting like a New York City nightclub bouncer at the top of the ladder. 1. Sit. 2. Go down.

5. Your dog is adorable. Though slightly less adorable when you let it off the leash and it knocks my kid over. And even less appealing when it takes care of business and you pretend not to notice. Clean it up or you're gonna find it in your purse.

4. Please share the swing. There's usually only -- what? -- maybe six of them? That means you have to share. Don't make Mommy use the weird-hissing-I'm-not-yelling-at-you-in-public voice to try and coerce you into doing the right thing.  Also? Don't walk in front of the swings unless you want a traumatic brain injury.

Oh right. This one is MUCH worse.
 3. Don't throw sand. Don't throw sand. Don't throw sand. Don't throw sand. Don't throw sand. Don't throw sand. Don't throw sand. Don't throw sand. Don't throw sand. Don't throw sand. Don't throw sand. Don't throw sand. Don't throw sand. Don't throw sand. Don't throw sand. Don't throw sand. Also? Don't throw mulch.

2.  The water fountain is for -- gasp! -- drinking water. It's not a weapon, a toy or the site of a future Woodstock. Please stop trying to create a muddy mosh pit, because all you're doing is giving my toddler one more opportunity to be filthy within nine seconds of arriving.

1. If you say you're bored, we leave. Immediately.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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