A break in the clouds

In spite of feeling like my kids bicker nonstop, there are days where they play together for hours on end. The past couple days have been an absolute dream. I savor this break in the thunder clouds and do my best to soak up the comradery. I’ll need the good memories to draw upon when the sibling love gets scarce.

Of course, what gets their jive juice going isn’t normal, calm, inside-the-box play, like building towers out of blocks or a jolly game of Parcheesi.

Or, say, simply swinging on our industrial quality swing set, oh no. That would be way too…normal.

The kids have to go and mutilate the set by removing extemporaneous swings and importing a huge slab of wood until they end up with a seesaw and merry-go-round hybrid.

The kids pad the board with mounds of old winter coats, arrange themselves just so (balance is key), and then order the Baby Nickel to spin them.

They scream a lot, and I have to keep yelling out the door at them to STOP SCREAMING. I HATE screaming. It ranks right up there beside whining and clock alarms. Yelling is fine, I say. Screaming is not. And then I walk away and the screaming starts up again. Perhaps it’s an uncontrollable side effect of spinning?

They like to just hang out on the board, too, dozing in the sun like the sloths I sometimes wish they were.

Eventually they tire of spinning and/or balancing and move on to making one enormous swing.

It serves dual purposes.

Purpose Number One: a perch for eating popcorn.

Purpose Number Two: a swinging stunt platform.

The younger two lay on their backs and pump the swing with their legs while the older two hang from swingless chains and do their thing.

As I was typing this, the swing set morphed into yet another structure.

They added a ladder and some old canvas and, voilà!, a tent was born.

Tomorrow our family heads in five different directions. When we return, the swing set may be a thing of the past. Or not.

In any case, it was a great diversion while it lasted.

This same time, years previous: beef empanadas, one whole year, reasons, lemon donut muffins, weird, honeyed apricot almond cake, brown bread, simple granola, fancy granola, French chocolate granola, oregano, garlic, and lemon roast chicken with asparagus and potatoes, and a sketchy character. Whew!


  • Unknown

    I thought, based on the first picture, that this blog post would be about how your children learned to subvert gravity. (Conclusion: I was close.)

  • Cookie baker Lynn

    I love how your kids have the freedom to be creative. There is no way that playground would pass any kind of playground code, but it's the one kids love best.

    Hooray for kids getting along! I'm still waiting on that one…..

  • Anonymous

    OH I JUST LOVE THIS POST! Loving the comments above too! Made me laugh! I love seeing what your kids do/play! Thanks for keeping it real, makes me feel not so alone since my kids free play a lot too!

  • the domestic fringe

    Your children are very resourceful. They'll be the ones designing playgrounds when they grow up.

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