Posts Tagged ‘ playground ’

The Mater Prince Of Fresh Air

Monday, February 24th, 2014

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Friday was the last day that you and your best (and first) friend, Sophie, will ever spend together at school. (You’ve both been attending KinderCare since you met there in July 2011.)

As I officially explained to you last week in the car, you won’t be seeing her everyday at school anymore, since she and her family are moving to Alabama.

Sophie’s mommy threw her a sort of princess-themed going away party in which she brought cupcakes for your class- and dresses for your friends to try on in the theme of Frozen, I assume.

You even told me that you tried on one of the dresses, though I’ve yet to see a picture proving it.

However, Sophie’s mommy did snap a few shots of Sophie trying to give you a good-bye hug.

Yeah, you don’t look so enthused…

However, in this next photo collage you look a lot happier. That’s because Sophie gave you a good-bye gift: a motorized Mater scooter that she didn’t have room to take to her new home!

Mommy and I took you to your gymnastics class Saturday morning where you got to burn off energy like an American Gladiator (circa 1992). Then for the afternoon, while the sun was briefly out, we got to take a family walk around the neighborhood in the fresh air.

It was the perfect opportunity for you to give Mater a spin; outside of our house- since the only “road” you had previously been down was our hallway. I can’t look at these pictures without laughing, by the way.

Though the Mater scooter is electric, I think it will actually serve as an added motivation for you to want to go outside to play at parks on the weekend.

Again, you’re used to just driving Mater down the hallway, so the great outdoors is a much more exciting backdrop.

And while you’re already near a playground, we’ll make sure you’re actually burning your own energy too; in addition to your indoor gymnastics class.

I am pleased that your school is very proactive to make sure you and your friends go outside and play in the fresh air; given that the temperature is reasonable, even if it’s just a for a little while each day.

Coincidentally, I happened to come across this infographic on how many children aren’t as privileged as you, in regards to being able to play outside regularly.

Also, I like how it points out the social benefits, like negotiation skills, of recess. I had never thought about that before.

You are going to miss Sophie; that is for sure. You have known her since before either of you could even walk. Now the two you of can run and jump… and negotiate on the playground.

Fortunately, she happened to leave you a very special (and relevant) token of your special friendship. We will look forward to seeing Sophie again.




Playing Outside


Add a Comment

My Son Wore A “Dad Is My Hero” Shirt With A Pink Poodle Costume

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

3 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

Yesterday Mommy and I took you to Shipwrecked, your favorite indoor playground, to hang out with your best friend Sophie on such a snowy Saturday morning.

As usual, you drove around the Lightning McQueen pedal car like a grumpy old man; cutting through the paths of other happy kids.

I stood in the middle of the place, keeping an eye on you from afar.

There you were, collecting random toy “relics” in the back of your car. (Reference to The Lego Movie we saw yesterday.)

It was hilarious to me: You didn’t speak to, or even smile at, any of the other kids as you drove through their neighborhood of the playground to pick up a few random toys… like a pink toaster.

One older girl handed you a plastic banana; which you promptly accepted as if it were simply understood as business as usual.

You even swooped by the giant dollhouse to snatch the tiny potty.

And then, you visited the costume room, to pick up your rarest find: a pink poodle costume, the one Sophie wore when you were Barney the dinosaur.

I didn’t think much of it; I just figured it was part of your collection.

So it caught me off guard when you pulled up to me, stopped the car, and started putting on the pink poodle costume backwards.

All with a stoic look on your face and speaking no words.

Naturally, I didn’t want you to feel embarassed, so I helped you put on the pink poodle costume the right way.

But then I realized you were a bit too tall for it.

So you ended up wearing it like a hoodie for about 20 seconds; before you decided to take it off and start chasing down Sophie in a vintage 1970′s car chase.

(More on that in an upcoming letter.)

So, I will close by pointing out an observation that I find… pretty interesting.

You wore a pink poodle costume while also wearing a “Dad is my hero” shirt.

I would like an explanation here.

I’m sure there’s an interesting psychological explanation in there somewhere. Hmm.

How is your relationship with your father?…








Add a Comment

A Time To Be Dizzy: To Everything, Turn! Turn! Turn!

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

I remember what it was like being about your age; thinking that spinning myself dizzy in the living room was like the coolest thing ever.

If I remember correctly, my parents would have to warn me to stop; mainly because they never knew what I was about to knock myself into and, therefore, knock over.

Well, that’s what’s new in your life right now. This is your “I want to see how dizzy I can get and still stand up” phase.

Sunday afternoon I watched you get the biggest thrill out of repeatedly spinning yourself dizzy as Thomas and Friends played in the background.

Again, I can relate to what you’re experiencing. That was me about 30 years ago. Now it’s you.

However, I think I killed enough brain cells doing it, that now, I can’t stand being dizzy.

It’s one of the most annoying things in the world, to me.

I get dizzy so easily that I nearly got dizzy following you around to take these pictures of you spinning. (Even just looking at these pictures is making me sort of dizzy!)

It was hard to get a good shot of you because you were spinning so fast!

But you’re a kid. You still think spinning around until you fall on the floor is a fun thing to do.

You might as well live it up, until you get your fill like I have.

Back in the 1980′s when I was a kid, there were such things as merry-go-rounds, which were a playground device that allowed several kids to spin on a moving wheel platform on the ground, while a few other kids pushed them as hard as they could.

Of course, I would always try to jump off while the merry-go-round was going its fastest. And I never got hurt.

I guess, though, some kids did, and their parents sued and won some good money. Because I haven’t seen a merry-go-round in about 20 years.

Oh well.

To everything there is a season. This is your season to be dizzy.





Add a Comment

I Want To Do It… I Need Help…

Monday, February 25th, 2013

2 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Today I took a really late lunch from work so I could drive you to the nearby park, just down the street from your daycare and from where my office is.

It was 2:40 and you had just woken up from your nap, so I’m pretty sure you thought you might still be dreaming since I don’t regularly get the opportunity to see you during the workday.

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, you set your sights on your goal… the big boy slide.

The only way to get to that 7 foot tall slide was to go up the climbing wall.

I placed my hands around your waist, allowing you to reach for the grips and pull yourself up.

You instantly turned around to me and resisted: “I want to do it.”

I pulled my hands away where you could no longer feel them but where they were close enough in case you fell.

About three seconds passed… “I need help.”

That situation happens several times a day now. Whether it’s opening a fruit snack or putting on your shoes, you have to attempt to do it yourself first, then you’ll ask me to do it.

These days I just need to remember to assume you want to do everything yourself. I suppose it’s pretty much a waste of time for me to even try to help you, because I know what will happen:

“I want to do it… I need help.”

This is the stage where you are realizing you can actually do some stuff yourself. You don’t actually need me for everything anymore.

It’s like each situation is a new pickle jar to be opened.

I am your OnStar, your tech support, and your extra muscles.





Add a Comment

The Masculine Version Of A Tea Party, Part 2

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

While I am quick to tell you all the things you’re good at, I have to be honest with you today: You’re officially not good at playing like a girl.

The picture to the right might imply that you are a 2 year-old boy who enjoys a good old-fashioned tea party. However, let me remind you what I said in The Masculine Version Of A Tea Party, Part 1:

“You are wired to choose action involving crashes and messes, not role-playing a sophisticated brunch.”

Turns out, I was right.

As you played with your cousin Calla’s new tea set on Christmas, you quickly pretended to eat all the icing off the plastic cupcakes and see how fast you could gulp down the invisible tea.

It was a cupcake cake eating contest, with tea to wash it all down… and you won, fair and square!

So uncivilized.

Immediately after, you moved on to Calla’s new dollhouse. It didn’t take you long to discover that there was a handle on the toilet in the bathroom you could press down to hear it flush.

Needless to say, the dollhouse quickly became more like a truck stop.

Later you decided to check out your cousin’s new Disney princess tent with her and Mommy.

As you can see in the picture here, you helped transform the event into Jack’s Jump House. It only took about 7 minutes before you bumped heads with Calla and ended the rockin’ party before its prime.

So while certain dads might raise an eyebrow to see their son so easily playing with pink foo foo girls’ toys, not me.

Because I know you simply make a joke out of anything a princess would find enticing.

Instead, you’re the king of the playground and all the world is your stage.





Add a Comment