Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Why I Like the Beauty Shop Better Than the Imagination Station

I enjoyed the laugh Say Anything gave me over at The House of Jack today about her parenting snafu that probably cost her the coveted "Mother of the Year 2007" title. I can laugh because I can relate.

Since Say Anything invited us to share our own parenting mishaps I thought I'd share my most recent. Actually, this isn't a mishap as much as a parenting philosophy that I'm sure will prohibit me from even getting nominated for Mother of the Year. In fact, because of its mind-blowing thesis, it may even cause some of you to start a petition to rescind my mommy license.

But the truth of the matter is I hate going to the park with my kids. If I could take a book, sit on a bench and enjoy the beautiful day lost in the pages of a thriller or sappy romance while periodically looking up to see my darling children happily waving from the top of the slide or smiling at me from the swings, I'd go every day.

But that's not what happens. Instead, my children want me to play with them!! Now if I wanted to play with my kids I could just stay home where I am already regularly commandeered for everything from store to beauty shop to diner. And I wouldn't have to get all hot and sweaty. Or, I wouldn't have to give the evil, fish eye to other young delinquents who choose to push my children off the merry-go-round. Or, I wouldn't have to suck in my belly as the next generation of moms sweep in with their kids (more on this in a future post).

All of that brings us to today. Today was a glorious, no humidity, mild, sunny, perfect early summer day. Feeling quite generous I announce that we're heading over to the Imagination Station, an all-wooden castle-like monster playground that has absolutely no shade and is unbearable to play at during the heat of the summer. The kids are thrilled and I'm patting myself on the back for using my noodle to go to the Imagination Station on the most perfect weather day ever.

Now, at 5 & 7, the girls are old enough to fully enjoy the labyrinth of passages and tunnels, slides, and a wide assortment of playground fun here---on their own. Yes, there is an occasional request to give an under doggy or to watch a new trick on the balance beam but for the most part they are now self-sufficient.

However, Junior is a completely different story. You see there are two problems with this particular playground:

1. It is VERY, VERY easy to lose your kids in the passages and tunnels VERY, VERY quickly. One minute their waving to you from the top of the castle and the next minute their coming down a slide on the opposite side of the park. There is no clear line of sight and just WAY TOO MANY nooks to hide inside

2. Although there is only one way into the Imagination Station, there is no gate or barrier at the entrance. So kids who find their way to the front can run right out and into the parking lot if there isn't a parent in close tow.

I'm going to spare you all the gory details but let's just say it took me and the two girls working at a frenzied pace to keep track of Junior at the Imagination Station. We were operating like air traffic controllers yelling to each other his whereabouts every 3 seconds because that's how often it changed. And if he wasn't hiding or running, he was falling from the many, many steps and ledges you must navigate in this wooden nightmare.

On the plus side, he only ran into the parking lot twice

They're predicting another gorgeous day for tomorrow. I think we'll just stay home and play beauty shop. My toenails could use another coat of Hello Kitty blue polish.


Melissa said...

I'm with kids expect me to interact with them at the playground, which could be why they really like to go! The sound of "C'mon let's play tag, Mommy's it!!" just curls my toes most days. Somehow (grace of God?) I manage to act like I'm having the time of my life! Other times, I beg for some time to vegitate on a park bench with a promise to take them for ice cream later!

christine said...

i'm right there with you! i also despise the park! 2 summers ago 3 of my friends and i all got together every thursday at a different park in town. our kids were all the same ages/gender so everyone had a buddy or 2! that was the best park experience we have had...we mommies sat and talked while the kids all played! when i go alone - it is most miserable:)

Tracy W said...

Well, since we're coming clean! I too hate the park. I cringe and recoil at the idea of wood chips in my sandals, germs galore on my hands, and snotty drippy nosed kids touching my precious angels. (who, by the way, are this week snotty and drippy nosed themselves!). Ironic isn't it, that I've started an outdoor playgroup for our MOMS' group here - and this year we are investigating new parks and doing it twice a month instead of just one Tuesday a.m. UGH - what we won't do for those little darlings of ours when they plead with big blue eyes. And hazel eyes. And brown eyes. Ugh.

Natalie said...

Wow, and here I thought I was the only park delinquent mom out there!!

Tracy, that's why I love MIA's Super Summer!!! The kids get to go to the park and there are plenty of friends for them to play with while I get to sit around and visit. Sounds like a winning combo to me!!