Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Crib Notes: Low and Slow, Low and Slow

We were driving to a friend’s house the other day when we noticed an unusual sign. It was one of those warning signs, a yellow diamond shaped sign with a black silhouette designed to slow traffic.
It said “Slow Children at Play” and had a design of two kids on a seesaw.
“A SEESAW?” Sierra said incredulously. “The symbol for kids is a seesaw? Who plays on seesaws anymore?”
I had to admit she had a point. A see saw is just one out of many types of playground equipment that I managed to survive. I also survived those whirling things that we sat on and spun around in circles until we were about to lose our afternoon snacks. Of course, in hindsight, I realize that I’m one of the lucky few to have made it through countless hazards of childhood relatively intact.
Most folks might recall that there was a pair of slides locally that were pretty darn scary. Or maybe I was the only one scared to climb up those spiraling stairs to the top of the twin slides in Landa Park. Sierra was about five years old the first time she begged me to go on that slide set.
This was back in the day when I had this crazy theory that I needed to encourage my daughter to be brave by demonstrating that there was nothing to fear. I wanted to teach her to face her fear, whether it was lady bugs or dirt. Unfortunately I failed to make the “ridiculously tall slide” exception.
As we were going up the ladder, I took note of the 5,000 ways I could injure myself on this slide. I wondered if our medical insurance would refuse to cover my hospital bills since clearly I should know better. It seemed likely that my claims adjuster was going to deny my bills, citing some sort of “you got to be kidding me” clause.
Frankly the slide down from the lofty height was rather anti-climactic. Then we had to climb back up the OTHER side and mommy nearly hyperventilated.
The crazy tall twin slides are long since gone, replaced with safer options. So are most seesaws and whirly-go-rounds in playgrounds. It seems like highway department may need to update those signs on my friend’s street, since plenty of kids born after 1980 won’t have a clue what a seesaw looked like.
I’d like to suggest they could go with a nice, low profile slide instead.


Dan and Betty said...

I'm older than you, so my childhood memories are even more different than today's world. When I was a kid, almost every boy carried a pocket knife and one of our favorite recess activities was to play mumbly peg. The goal was to see how close you could throw your knife to your opponents leg or foot and get the knife to stick into the ground. The teachers knew all about it and it didn't concern them. I never saw anyone get hurt playing mumbly peg. Life was different then.


Allenspark Lodge said...

I never was hurt on teeter-totters, merry-go-rounds or VERY TALL stainless steel slides as a kid.

But I did get pretty banged up on the swings. "Can you swing high enough to wrap the chain around the bar?" "How far can you fly if you let go at the top?" And oddly, now only the swing-sets are left.

Probably should have had a picture of me as a kid on the "Slow Children Playing" sign...


Reddunappy said...

LOL The county recently replaced the "School bus stop ahead" signs with one that have a picture of kids getting on a bus. I thought it was weird, can people not read anymore?? I think if you were driving by you would spend more time trying to figure out what the heck the picture ment, and miss the kids!!

cheyenne jones said...

Ah! The times I have enjoyed the simple pleasures of a SeeSaw! I do remember falling off, and then as I got up, the thing came up and fractured my jaw!

Susan said...

There was a huge see-saw at our school that I learned the hard way to stay off of. As I recall, most of the play things weren't really small kid friendly.

John and Regina Zdravich said...

I didn't realize see-saws are a thing of the past! Boy, and I ever out of it!! Interesting....and yes, I agree playgrounds are dangerous places...but then every place is dangerous if you are small and full of energy with common sense not yet developed.

Shirley said...

We used to get a lighter kid suckered in to see-saw and then hold him at the top. I know, mean huh?
That sign will soon be a collectors item.