What a Shame

During my latest play-date, a friend and I took our kids to the local mall where a cute inside playground is set up. Since the weather was questionable, it was the perfect place for our kiddos to get their energy out. As I’m following a stumbling-but-walking-baby around,  I over hear two moms talking.

“Did you see that sign out front?”

“Which one?”

“The one outside – it says kids have to be under the bear’s height to play here.”

“Oh yeah. There’s definitely kids here taller than that.”

“Yeah. What a shame.”

I sheepishly looked up at those two women, knowing full well my kids were taller than that sign. Guiltily, I looked to find where the boys were playing. I spied Anthony laughing loudly as he tried to help my friend’s 2 1/2 year old climb up on a giant soccer ball. Mid-climb, the 2 1/2 year old was jumping with a giant grin into Anthony’s arms as he spun him around.

I found Ethan giggling as a younger girl chased him around the play area, carefully dodging the littler ones.

What a shame, indeed.

My Wonderful Kids

I stopped to ponder, what do other parents do that have children straddling the various ages? Does having a  baby when you have school age children mean you now have to choose which kid you should entertain? Should I have left my older kids at home?

I glanced over at the arcade and walked to my purse to grab some money, handing each boy their share to head on over to play some games. “Ohhh! Thanks, Mom!” and off they rushed off.

Maybe that’s the trick. Maybe it’s finding a place that has something for the both of them. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find any sort of family time if you’re constantly separating the kids to more “age appropriate” levels. And besides, maybe the boys really didn’t want to play in the play area.

However, only a few moments went by until the boys were chucking their prizes they won into my purse so they could get back to playing with the younger kids. Looking at the younger kids, they were happy to have them back, as they quickly proceeded into tackling each other and tumbling around.

Sometimes being a parent means enforcing the rules. And sometimes, it means breaking the rules in the interest of fairness.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sara
    Apr 12, 2011 @ 21:12:59

    Here here. They played beautifully with the little kids. You should be proud.

    Reply

  2. Reboloke
    Apr 13, 2011 @ 12:22:09

    I would say rules like that are in place to prevent older, larger, and potentially unsupervised children from trampling the younger children, but little ones are just as likely, if not more likely to get trampled by another child within the height/age limit. If older children are being respectful and careful (which it sounds like your boys were) I see no reason why they shouldn’t accompany younger siblings. Some places even include exceptions (whether they’re written or not) for older children in a family or group with mixed ages.

    Reply

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