The Playground Tour Hits Manoa and Manoa Hits Back

Lynnette had an appointment in the mid-morning yesterday, making for something of a three-day weekend. We developed a plan the night before: sleep in, go to the appointment, get lunch, then scout Manoa for a few playgrounds. Everything worked out as planned until the very end of our day.

What a treat! Mom on a Monday!

What a treat! Mom on a Monday!

You know it's good when Madison plows through her meal.

You know it’s good when Madison plows through her meal.

We went to Marioposa for lunch after Lynnette’s appointment. Lynnette estimated that the last time we had been there was before Madison was born. Mad thought it was pretty cool to eat outside on the balcony. She walked over to the corner of the railing and did a little sightseeing. “There’s a beach over there,” she said when she returned to the table. “Yeah, that’s Ala Moana, we’ve been there,” I said. “Yeah,” she said.

Madison loved her alfredo pasta. Lynnette ordered the au jus sandwich, and I got the seared ahi melt. She and I decided to switch off sandwiches at the halfway point. I enjoyed both sandwiches, even if they were more than a little messy. I was going over the rest of my french fries when Lynnette said she was finished eating. She had gotten through less than half of the half I had given her. “All you,” she said. “It’s good, but I don’t think I can do that,” I said. “Yeah, you can,” she answered. “OK, I can, but I don’t think I want to,” I said. “Yeah, you do,” she said. “Fine, I want to, but I don’t think I should,” I said. “I believe in you,” she said. I hate it when people throw the things I say back in my face. Of course I ate the remaining half of the half.

"C'mon, mom, we have to fly the spaceship!"

“C’mon, mom, we have to fly the spaceship!”



the first stop on the Playground Tour was Manoa Valley District Park. On our way to the park, Lynnette and I were talking about Modern Family, specifially Julie Bowen’s character. “I think what I like about her,” I said. “Is that she’s obviously smarter than Phil – she rolls her eyes at him and makes all of these condescending comments and judges him all the time – but she’s flawed too.” “She has her own quirks, right?” Lynnette said. “Yeah,” I said. Three were a few moments of silence. “Is that why you love me?” Lynnette said. “Because I’m obviously more smarter than you?” she continued. “Yeah,” I said. “Because you’re more smarter,” I repeated. Lynnette started laughing, and later admitted she laughed because she knew she was dead the second it came out of her mouth. For the record, however, Lynnette’s intelligence is one of the many reasons I am in love with her. She also makes me laugh.

Anyway, we could see two playsets from the parking lot. One of them was the Oahu Special, so we picked this one instead. Mad spent most of her time on the spiral slide, taking advantage of the fact that no one else was around by walking up it. A totally underrated aspect of this playground is the fact that it’s shaded by a large tree. The slides weren’t preheated to bake when we got there. It wasn’t anything special, but he slide ran pretty fast, so Madison got a kick out it. She moved so quickly that she banged her head on the side of the slide during one of her runs. She was fine, but it would be a harbinger for the early end to our day.

Stupid monkey bars.

Stupid monkey bars.

Ice on your own and stay out of the trainer's room. That's my girl.

Ice on your own and stay out of the trainer’s room. That’s my girl.

Our second stop was the playground at Noelani Elementary. It is laid out in a straight line, and as soon as Mad saw it, she said “I need to finish this course.” She got through the first two-thirds of the “course,” then hit the monkey bars. She usually stays away from them, so I thought nothing of it. I saw her take off on the first bar, then grab the second. She never made it to the third. I was too far away to do anything, but I saw her fall. When she crash-landed, I said something that can be best described as a profane phrase with religious allusions. I don’t remember which words, though.

This is what I saw: Mad got the first one bar, swung toward the second, reached it, let go of the first bar, swung forward toward the third – but her momentum was too great – she lost her grip on the second bar when she was pretty much parallel to the ground and fell. It appeared to me that she landed chest first. She started crying immediately. She was crying so hard that her snot was flying out and back into her nostrils like that whack the gator game. When she had calmed a little, she told us two things: her playground Achilles heel – her sweaty hands – had struck again and her right wrist was sore. She tried to break her fall with her right hand.

We went to Andy’s Smoothies for refreshments and a bag of ice for Mad’s wrist. She rested the bag on her wrist and her head on the table. A college-aged woman saw Mad’s tear-streaked face and red eyes. She made a sad face at Mad and I that almost made me cry. I nodded at her and mouthed “She’s OK.” The woman smiled. Madison was in better spirits on the drive home – at least the parts I was awake for. We’re continuing to check up on her. She said it feels better this morning, but when she moves it in certain ways, it’s still sore. That sounds like a sprain, but I’m going to call the doctor this morning anyway. She already dropped the best injury-related line last during dinner when Abby continued to bark at her. “What? You think I’m not going to play with you anymore because of my sick arm?” she shouted. I have no idea how Lynnette and I kept our laughter inaudible.


3 comments on “The Playground Tour Hits Manoa and Manoa Hits Back

  1. […] that she landed flat on her back. “Are you OK?” I said. I was terrified it would be Manoa all over again. “At least it was soft,” she said and continued playing. […]

  2. […] into a standing position. They’re also decent climbers, the same way Madison was before she fell off the monkey bars in Manoa and developed a fear of monkey bars, heights, and anything that seems remotely challenging. I wish […]

  3. […] up at her face and she had a fake smile on. She was still worried about her height. Sigh. That fateful day at Manoa lives […]

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