10 Rules of The Playground


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There are certain things about childhood that I’m finding are even better the second time around. Grilled cheese sandwiches, for example. I was never that fond of them during my own youth, but find them completely irresistible now. Fireflies, rainbows and sandcastles also top the list of things I enjoy even more than my children. And, then there are the things I loved as a kid, but as a grown up, dread with every fiber of my being. Topping that list? The playground.

Now, I don’t hate everything about the playground. Of course, I do recognize the value of having some place to burn off steam that doesn’t involve bouncing on my bed or running around the house like a crazed lunatic, but my children just seem to make it as annoying as it can possibly be.

They want me to run around and play chase, to push them on the swings and to go down the slides with them. When I said that the playground was good for blowing off steam, I meant for them, while I play on my iPhone and sip my latte watching from the sidelines. What’s up with the mothers chasing and rolling all around with their kids? Isn’t that the job of the other kids there? I don’t get it.

So, as long as we are going to keep frequenting playgrounds, I’ve decided to come up with some ground rules so my children known exactly where I stand. Hopefully it will make the experience as painless as possible…

1. I will not push you endlessly on the swing. If you want to swing, learn to pump.

2. I will not swing from bars. I am not a monkey.

3. I do not go down slides (for fear of my ass getting stuck mid-way.)

4. We are not playmates. At the playground, I have my friends and you have yours.

5. Sandboxes are evil. Stay away from them at all costs.

6. Hide and seek anywhere but home isn’t fun for mommy. Don’t even think about it.

7. There is no need to yell “LOOK AT ME!!!” every three seconds. I’m (half) watching. And, if I miss that particular slide dismount, I’ll catch the next one.

8. Don’t ask me to play on the see-saw. I don’t need to be reminded that I weigh more than all of you combined.

9. Don’t do anything that will result un an ER visit. Or, we may never comeback.

10. Don’t tell me you are bored. I guarantee you’ll be more bored at home.

Still want to go play, kids?


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    • Love says

      RIGHT? I tried the little zip line thingy last weekend and thought my arms were going to pop out of their sockets LOL I will leave the little kid equipment to the kids from now on!

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  1. Nina says

    Yes! I agree with every one of these, Jill! The worst is when I go to a park WITH a friend and our kids and my friend is answering to every “Mommy, come sit on this slide” call from her child. The kids have EACH OTHER!!!! Come on!

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  2. lynn @ Maven of Savin' says

    OMG – I CANNOT STAND PUSHING on the swing and thought I was the only horrible mother out there!n I will hang at the park with you any day – sipping of course.

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    • K says

      I am so number 1 with my 5 year old. However, my 5 year old is not shy and will ask and talk to anyone. So he will ask other parents to push him and it’s funny that almost all of them oblige. Many of them for 20 or so minutes! Some days it bothers me to think about what they are probably thinking of me. But I believe in purposefully ignoring them at the park. I’m watching, I care but all of that is going on in the inside. They need to learn their independence and isn’t the playground one of those great opportunities

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  3. Mom Off Meth says

    What is it about the swing that sucks so bad? I hate it too. I hate when they get stuck up in a high place and can’t get down. The first time is okay, but fool me once…

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  4. Toni says

    Omg-I so love you. Numbers 1,3,4, 5 & 7 especially…oh, that’s almost all! I always say I had two children two years apart on purpose. Play with each other dammit.

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  5. Sarah at Julia's Child says

    I think that six years at the playground was a major contributing factor to our exit from NYC. My kids called their swingset “the playground” for a long time after we moved.

    My issue with the playground was that the moms and the nannies were camped on either side, like boys and girls at a junior high dance. I preferred the nannies to the particular constellation of moms in my neighborhood, but soon found that the babysitters really didn’t want me in their club. So I made a lot of small talk about the weather with the moms, and counted the minutes until we’d need to go.

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