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Playground Anxiety

What kid doesn’t love going to the playground? My boys love it. I enjoy it too…sometimes. We are fortunate to have many different playgrounds in our area. Most consist of a set of swings and a big playground apparatus with a couple of slides, monkey-bars, etc. Then there are the other playgrounds. The two playgrounds my kids absolutely LOVE. One has been named “The Park By Grammie’s Work” precisely due to its location…by Grammie’s work. The other park has been declared “The Elephant Park” due to the elephant statue sitting outside the grounds. These two parks are vast. These two parks are fun. These two parks scare the crap out of me.

Hi. My name is Sheri. I have three little boys, and I have playground anxiety!

I love that taking my boys to these two parks makes them so, so happy. I’m thanked all day long. I’m the best mom ever. The problem is that they are big and they get crowded. They each have a toddler playground apparatus and a big-kid apparatus, among other cool things like rock-climbing walls and those crazy rope climbing things (for lack of a better term). I can’t keep my eyes on all three at once, especially in a crowd. Our last visit to “The Elephant Park” lasted for all of 5 minutes. I had to explain to the boys that I just couldn’t handle being there with so many people and teenagers lurking around. My heart was about to pound out of my chest and sweat was beading on my forehead. So I did what any great mom would do…I bribed them with ice cream and a trip to a different, more uninhabited parked. Phew.

When we woke this past Sunday morning the sun was shining. It was an absolutely PERFECT summer morning to be outside. We had breakfast, got dressed and sunscreened, and piled into the car. They had no idea where we were going. I stopped and grabbed a coffee and off to “The Elephant Park” we went (with a little knot in my stomach). When we pulled in they were thrilled! YAY! I was thrilled too, the park was EMPTY. I mean empty. There wasn’t a single car or bicycle or person to be seen. We had the entire park to ourselves. The boys scattered and I sat and enjoyed my coffee, up until I had to be the monster and chase them all around (5 minutes of peace).

My little monkey even got to try the monkey bars with no other kids rushing him to get out of the way. In the hour we were there a few kids came but I was at ease. I have no idea how people in congested areas can take their kids to the park. I’d need reinforcements. Do you get playground anxiety?

10 thoughts on “Playground Anxiety

  1. I don’t really care of its crowded. I care if there Obnoxious kids there eating worms or throwing rocks. Near me, those kids are usually accompanied by 70 year old grandmothers that can neither see or hear what they are doing. It’s irritating.

  2. I sometimes get playground anxiety – especially if it was crowded. I usually only take the boys when it is not too busy. I would say playground time is not relaxing for moms at all!

  3. Some of us younger Nana’s try and do it all… And yes there is anxiety.
    3 boys. At the big park…heavens! You really are the best mom ever! I can take the 5 yr old with his 3 yr old sister, no ptoblem, only one is a dare devil……but add number three, who is 2 soon and I’m overextended. We had an accident, there, on my “watch” and it happened as I was watching,….(arms open ready to catch)….it IS possible for an eighteen month old to back up a slide and fall. So Safety Nana has to bring back up with three now.
    I’m the lucky one of my friends, whose kids flew the nest, married and had kids and still live within two miles of us… my less lucky friends have adopted them and if I buy the coffee, are very happy to get some kid time while giving their buddy back-up.

  4. I can understand your anxiety with crowded playgrounds and three kids running in every direction. It’s hard to keep track of them among all the others. I’ve seen too many cop shows and hospital shows, I guess, so would be very leery even bringing one child to some of those places! 🙂

  5. I can totally understand where you are coming from. My son has autism, so not only do I worry about social interactions, but he also has no fear, so I have to watch him all the time. If he is on climbers with older kids that are a little more coordinated than him and he wants to copy them – I can foresee broken bones or just walking off an edge – that would so be him! LOL… I like them a little more quiet and laid back where we can enjoy the time!

  6. You are braver than I am! I can’t handle all three at the park! I am running around like a madman in all directions because you know nobody wants to do the same thing at the same time and my younger two are little daredevils so I always envision broken necks, eyes poked out from a nearby stick, etc. And then there’s always the crazy kids who might knock them over while their moms are playing on their cellphones, completely oblivious; or the random weirdo that I know is trying to steal my kids (I too have watched too many crime shows). I think it’s great that you keep trying and makes me think I should too….just have to find the empty park to do it in! 🙂

  7. Yes, I do, especially when it’s crowded! I’ve decided that if want to partake in outdoor activities this summer (park, pool, etc.) we will need to go in the earlier part of the day before everyone gets there.

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