Tuesday, April 7, 2009

When Playground Privileges are Revoked

There are many advantages and disadvantages of living on a first floor apartment designed for student families. One the big ones is the playground right outside your backdoor. It is really great to be able to open the backdoor and let the kids run out and play in the fenced in area with the neighbor kids. I love visiting with fellow moms and catching up on the mommy news. The kids seem to really enjoy the playground built in the 60's or the 70's and the sand is a big plus!
Now the disadvantages are many as well. The sand for instance. Even though I have yet to spot cat poop, sand tends to find itself in all the boy's creases and shoes ending up on my carpet. The playground equipment is extremely outdated, as well. The slide is a leading cause of mother-playground-anxiety as we hover around it with our arms out ready to catch a flying kid coming from any direction.
The other problem is location. If just one child comes out to the playground, my kids know. As the boys go about their play day, they keep one eye on toys, the other on the window -- scanning for kids. This morning there was a whole group out there. My boys went, literally, ape on the sofa and monkey on the windows and curtains. Seeing no harm in letting them out, I quickly got them dressed and shoed (if that's even a word!) and out the door.

For the first ten minutes or so, my neighbor-friend and I chatted and the kids played nice. Then Sam decided he wanted to play with the big orange car that Nephi was currently sitting in. Violence ensued. Arms were pulled. When I got to the scene, Nephi was yelling "NOOO!" and Sam was on the verge of a total meltdown. When I told him he couldn't have the car... he melted. Violence once again ensued -- this time it was all self-inflicted. Because of Sam's serious communication issues, he is prone to violent tantrums, and in this instance he was harming himself on the cement.

Now, three and a half year olds can be pretty strong when they are filled with rage and adrenaline. It was quite a battle for me to get my son back into the apartment and into his bedroom. He was honestly pitching such a fit, he was bouncing off the walls, furniture, and all the while tripping over his toys. For his own safety, and for mine, I shut him in his room for some much needed cool down time. And cool down he did.

I let Nephi slide down the slide a few times, then I brought him in the house. Sam had calmed down and I let him out of his room. But he remembered and charged the now locked backdoor. His attitude was so silly that I had to snap a picture -- which just added fuel to his fire.

This is when a kid cares that he can't go back out:
This is when a kid doesn't care:

Moral of the story, sometimes we can't have our way. Get over it and move on.


Jill said...

Oh the tantrums! And oh the much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth! I have experienced this more than I care to share. Thanks for the great story. And the picture just says it all!

Our Family said...

Man, tantrums are the worst!

I think you're right about the decade of that slide. That thing is ancient! I can see why the moms are paranoid around it. Playground equipment used to be so much more exciting. We loved playing on the big teeter-totters and merry-go-rounds growing up, but I haven't seen those on the playground in years.

Amy said...

Boy do I know that look on Sam's face... I see it way too often on my kids faces! I HATE sand at parks!!! I purposefully go to parks that don't have any. Every other minute ( I am not kidding) Maddie has to dump out her shoes... and socks... only to get them full of sand again. Hate the sand...:)