Playground Uprising

The Plastic Palace
February 15, 2007, 5:33 pm
Filed under: Children, Family, Friends, Life, parenting

The Mall play park, first sighted in Richmond 5 years ago (though this is also about the time I spotted Richmond’s first baby-jogger, bottle liners, and individually wrapped fruit snacks) were probably built to lure sleep deprived, sound judgment suppressed mothers into large buildings to purchase items never considered during earlier, childless years that were laced with dimensions of clarity. But regardless of the intention or result, I would like to say hats off to the creator, for these germ-infested, plastic palaces allow parents to steel the once thought unobtainable 45 minutes (beating the heck out of the 15 minutes afforded by trucks, blocks, and sharp household objects) to sit, connect, and remember that the world is not as big as we once thought and perhaps our differences are fewer than the news would have us believe, all over the elusive hot cup of hazelnut coffee. For example, yesterday my best buddy and I discussed the following pressing issues:

1. What makes a quality latte and why wasn’t the adjoining coffee shop
aware of the criteria.
2. Where to find shoes wide enough to fit my son’s Sasquatch feet but with a
price tag small enough not to make me wet myself.
3. Where we should go to eat for our upcoming adult night out when we may
just get a chance to finish a thought and utter a sentence that does not
include the words “potty,” “teddy grahams,” or “NO.”

And while we discussed these worldly concerns, our children climbed plastic trees, sailed plastic boats, and banged on plastic mirrors, doing a drive-by every 5 minutes or so to report a discrepancy of a fellow hoodlum or grab a fruit snack off the pristine green carpet. And between the drive-bys I periodically looked up (making sure no one go a better offer) for a search and sometimes seizure and was struck by the 20 or so parents and caregivers who were huddled along the sidelines chatting with friends, those they have known for 7 years and those they just met, and how despite our differences in age, culture, and level of emotional sanity, we were are all trying to teach these little people, we were now responsible for, not to hit their friends or steel toys that didn’t belong to them and to play nicely with all the people they share their world with, albeit the current one was plastic and made up of colors not approved by mother nature or any competent interior decorator.


1 Comment so far
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So true… I wish you or I (because we would certainly have share the wealth with each other) would have thought of those WONDEFUL play areas so we could afford BEtter lattes, nicer shoes, and MORE dinners AWAY from the kids at higher priced restaurants because we would not be paying a small fortune for child care. reading your blog brithens my day… what a sad life I lead :)::)

Comment by Ginny

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