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The Littlest E’s preschool was on break for about two weeks, which is why I haven’t been writing my blog.  Now that he’s back in school, I thought I’d start the blog up again with a cautionary tale for all parents.

While my son was on break, one morning we went to meet some friends from Burbank Adult School at Rockin’ Kids, an indoor play space.  The moms from school usually meet there once a week and I knew on this day, they’d be there.  I was looking forward to seeing friends I hadn’t seen in a while and to having The Littlest E play with his buddies in an indoor, secure space out of the San Fernando Valley heat wave.

Rockin’ Kids has a lot of open space for the kids to run around, plus there’s a bouncy house with a slide, a pool of balls for kids to play in, and various cars and modes toddler transportation, along with the standard toys that indoor play spaces utilize.  In one area, was a wooden fort kids.  They could climb up the ladder, hang out in the fort and then slide down a tube slide.  The Littlest E was a master at climbing said ladder, but he was hesitant, nay scared of going down the slide.  I don’t think he likes tube slides all that much.

As I was looking at him up there in the fort, a light bulb went off in my head.  Why don’t I show him how to go down the slide so he can see there’s nothing to be afraid of?  Face your fear and walk through it.  Not that he’d really get that particular message; he’s only 3 after all, but I thought if he saw that I wasn’t afraid, maybe he’d follow suit and go down the slide.

I asked the woman who worked at Rockin’ Kids if it was okay for me to go down the slide.  She replied cautiously, “You can, but it’s built for kids.  Be careful.”  I think all I heard was the “you can” part.  My gut heard the entire thing, but I really wanted to show my son that it was okay to be scared and do it anyway.  Somewhere in the pit of my stomach, I knew I wasn’t being all that smart.  Do you see where this is going?  Wait, it gets better.

I had no trouble climbing up the ladder.  Easy, breezy.  The Littlest E and I exchanged a hug as we were both nestled in the fortress area.  Then I got ready for my descent down the slide.  Even as I was crouching in, I knew I shouldn’t be doing this.  It was too late to turn back.  Was it my pride, ego or stubbornness that kept me going?  I’m not sure, possibly a bit of all 3.  Want to guess what happened?

I got stuck, of course.  Somewhere up at the top of the slide, it’s a bit foggy now, as I’ve tried to block it from my memory.  My arms got stuck and I was holding on by my elbows?  All I know is I let go, there were some bumps and my elbows were killing me upon exiting the slide at the bottom.  I made sure whatever pain I felt, I kept to myself so as not to scare my son.  A dad looked at me as I stumbled out and said, “That sounded like it hurt.”  I replied quietly, “It did.”

Yep, Mommy was not too smart on that one.  Fortunately, my son didn’t know that I injured myself.  To top it off, he didn’t go down the slide anyway.  All was for naught.  Oh well, lesson learned – my lesson that is, not his.  If my gut screams to me “NOOOOOO DON”T DO IT!!!!”  I need to listen to that voice.

Fortunately, there was a mom with our group who happened to have a bag of ice.  She was my savior that morning.  I put the ice bag between my then bruised and burned elbows to halt the bruising from enveloping any more of my arms.  It was so very soothing, soothed my elbows and my pride.  Several of the moms laughed at me and I joined in.  What else was there to do but laugh at myself?  It’s been over a week and my elbows are still a slight yellowish/green and there’s one lingering scab, a constant reminder of my bright idea.  I still chuckle at myself for doing what I did.

So, Moms and Dads out there, if you’re thinking of doing something similar and that little voice inside you is screaming, “WHAT ARE YOU, NUTS??” please heed my cautionary tale, save your body and don’t do it.  Wishing you safe playing!

Images: caveatemptor27, Melanie Elliott

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