I have something to get off my chest about playgrounds. Well, not so much playgrounds: slides to be exact, and the apparent insistence of some children to go up them, rather than down. WHY, OH WHY??? I just don't understand and it makes me very, very cross.
Maybe I'm terribly old fashioned and completely out of touch with the 'yoof of today', but as far as I was aware slides are for coming down? Right? There is usually a helpfully designed set of steps or a rope ladder or some other sort of clambering/climbing device provided for the kids to make their way to the top of the slide. Right? So I am confused as to why some kids insist on spoiling all the fun for everyone else - and reducing mums like me to a quivering wreck in the process - by running back up the slide. Erm, hello, there's a massive queue of kids at the top waiting to come down. Do you see them? Yes, those ones there. The small people who are slightly hemmed in at the top, the ones who are looking a teeny bit anxious.
This is a bit like a maternal version of fingernails on a blackboard and while it might seem like a lot of angst about nothing to some, it really grates on me. I've lost count of the number of times I've had to explain to someone else?s child ? and usually a child who is of the age to be able to grasp the confounding technicalities of using a slide ? that they are going to have to move out of the way or nobody else will be able to come down.
OK, I might be a bit of a ?control freak? and perhaps there's a touch of the swings and roundabouts in my argument as I?m sure my own children have run up a slide on the odd occasion, odd, I stress, but only when there is no one else around and certainly not when I am looking or when there is a whole gang of toddlers and pre-schoolers forming a small flash-mob at the top.
So, please, please, please parents, as we head into the longer evenings and warmer days and flock to the playgrounds for a joyful half-hour of mild anxiety, please ask your children to go down the slides. It might not be all that tricky a concept to grasp after all and will save this mother a few additional grey hairs at least.
Image from annetaintor.com