The Safety Hazard
This Sunday I went to my nephews 3rd birthday party. It was at this place called Fun Zone or Fun Land or Fun Town or something out in Jersey. There was probably like 40 kids running around all wild mental when I got there. This place had lots of fun stuff. It had a rock wall, and a giant slide, rope swings, and big foam ball pits and climby things and stuff. The thing that amazed me was how totally superduper childproofed the whole place was. You would have to be the ultimate clutzy of a kid to mess yourself up in this place.
The whole floor of this barn sized arena was padded to the point where it was springy. There were like workers at every station making sure every kid played right. Someone monitoring the top of the slide. Someone monitoring the rope swing. Someone at the trampoline that was built right into the floor surrounded by cushions. All protected. It was safe. I don't even think I saw one kid cry from injury the whole time I was there.
Times have changed alot from the time when I was a kid. I guess they've changed for the better but I was still sort of nostalgic for my back in the day. My junglegyms were right over hard concrete, thank you very much. If you hung upsidedown and let go and landed on your head, you were in for some unconsciousness and good lesson learned when you woke up. Don't let go while hanging upsidedown. Check. Down the street there was a tire swing hanging from a branch. Once alot of us all piled on the tire and the big branch snapped and came smashing down on us. I ended up with a bruised shoulder. No pile-on the tire swing. Check. And I have a scar over my right eye from when I was riding a bike and crashed. But I learned. Turn your bike handlebars hard 90 degrees while moving? Get a permanent scar! Got it!? Check.
Back in the day it was about concrete! Shoddy workmanship! Defective products! Poor design! No supervision! Immediate learnification! Sharp! And pointy! That's what taught me to be cautious and coordinated!
I guess I'm psyched that kids these days are so protected and all that. But I'm thinking they're due to be less coordinated and more clutzy when they get older. Because if they can do anything they want, not be careful or aware, and not got messed up even a little bit... when they get to be adults I bet they'll be whonking their heads on open kitchen cabinet doors more often than me.... Which is friggin way too often as is...
PS. I got him a most excellent Thomas the Train toy thing for his bday. that he loved... :-)