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The Rules of the Playground

Residents August 20, 2013


You are the proud parents of a toddler! congratulations. You've survived the first year and now your kidlet is mobile!!!  You now get to do things like keeping them occupied in grocery stores! Guard against them putting everything that isn't nailed down in to their mouths!!! And the biggest bad….THE PLAYGROUND.

It doesn't matter where you live…the rules of the playground are the same. and you best get schooled, because as a parent of a small whippersnapper…you're going to be spending a colossal amount of time there.


Be prepared.


Never go to the park without snacks, water, wipes, extra clothes, and diapers. Inevitably there will be all sorts of shenanigans that will involve one if not ALL of these items on the same outing.


Do NOT bring a toy, bike, stuffy, or any beloved item of your child's to the playground unless you (and your child) are ready for ANY child present to play with it. This is a biggie folks..and not an easy one to swallow…if you can't handle others touching your stuff. Do NOT bring it to the playground. It's a huge universal playground rule…and you should know it BEFORE you get there.


The Swings…oof. listen, here's the thing about the swings. They are a slippery slope. If your child is not interested in them yet….GOOD…stay away as long as you can. Because it's going to be YEARS before they can learn to pump their legs and swing on their own…so you will spend all day pushing them. ALL. DAY. It's a cute idea on day one. Day three or five? not so much.


Enclosed parks are your friends. The more confined a park is…the better you will feel. You've always got to keep an eye on your child, but when you're in a smaller play area that's surrounded on all sides by a fence, there's just a little extra room to relax. As much as you can…between the swings…the slide, and heaven forbid there's one of those flying deathtraps knows as a merry go round! Also be forewarned, there is often a great divide between stay at home parents and nannies/hired caregivers. Try as you might, it's a divide you're unlikely to mend. Find other like minded parents…and don't be upset if the nanny crew in the corner gives you the cold shoulder. Good luck, and welcome to the Jungle…I mean PLAYGROUND  baby.

Angie Shaw