This weekend Pookie and I went by her old school to check out the park next door that they were re-opening after a long bout of refurbishment. Silly me forgot to bring my new camera to take pictures, but I was absolutely astounded at what I saw:
An actual, honest-to-$Diety all-steel play structure, and not a single foam pad in sight. There are no swings, but there are these chairs that sit on threaded poles; you can theoretically spin them all the way to the top and then spin all the way back down again in a maneuver guaranteed to induce nausea. There’s also a vertically-stationary spinny thing with $Diety’s Own Frictionless Grease on the bearings, because this thing really gets moving.
The best part? The climbing walls that are bolted to the thing go all the way to the top, about 8 feet in the air. Those top bars, however, curve downward at a nice angle. So nice, in fact, that moments after I noticed them, I noticed that one of Pookie’s classmates was scooting right up them so she could perch on the top. (I noticed a moment later that her dad was 15 feet up in the tree behind me – the monkey gene runs true in that family.)
Everywhere I looked at this thing, I saw places where an uncautious child could splatter themselves all over it. The only safety feature is the three inches of bark dust on the ground.
Every where I turn, I see nothing but Nanny-State mandated warning messages (lid of my coffee cup:Warning, contents may be hot) and here I am at a playground made of solid steel with no padding that can be climbed in about 10 seconds by an 8-year-old.
I think I almost wept with joy.