When I was a much younger man, I was fond of glibly saying “Plans never work out, so why make plans?” Obviously, even then I knew that answer (Because you kind of have to if you’re going to interact with other humans), but my logic then was based on true experience. How many times have your plans worked out perfectly? Exactly.
A while back Lynnette’s cousin offered us a small plastic playground set for Cole and Avery. His son has outgrown it. It’s been rainy recently so we finally took the family up on their offer. Madison and I picked the set up today, and if you look closely at the picture on the left, you will notice the half-smile of a person thinking:
Nah, can get one indoor playground for the twins but not for me, ah?
Well, the short answer is “Yes.” Madison knows she’s too big for this set but she wants so desperately to play on it that she’s willing to do it vicariously through Cole and Avery. She’s been forcing them to play on the set all afternoon. Lynnette and I have had to remind her – somewhere between 4 and 500 times – that it’s OK if the twins don’t want to play. So that’s the first snag. The twins aren’t as enthralled by the majesty of the Little Tikes slide/swing set.
Avery’s been was warm all morning and she’s got a fever. Lynnette’s been treating her with Motrin and Avery moves in and out of two general attitudes: pleasant and stoned.
Rather than get pushed in the swing or fly down the slide, Avery seemed to prefer sticking her fingers into her ears so as to make her own eyes roll back into her head. Sure.
So Avery hasn’t really been interested in the set at all. Right now, she’s making Cole laugh by throwing a Beanie Baby puppy on the living room floor over and over again. This turn of events is startling to me because I thought Avery was making a full transition into her wrestling gimmick of Gravy Abunai, a superstar who has no real mic skills but impresses the crowd with high-risk moves that range from “unsafe” to “PHILIP, I TOLD YOU TO WATCH AVERY!” Maybe she’s just sick.
Ironically, it’s Cole who’s been trying to destroy himself with the playground set. He climbed up the stairs in the back, slowly lowered himself on the platform, then slid. When he settled on the floor, he stood and clapped. I was assured that Cole understood how the slide worked. Nope.
I suppose I’ll forgive Cole because he doesn’t yet understand the concept of gravity, but a few moments later, he decided he was going to try to walk down the slide. He face planted onto the carpet and started screaming. He patted his forehead, then rubbed his nose. He got an icepack from Lynnette. It was a few minutes before he stopped crying. By sunset, he figured out how to climb up the slide and learned his lesson to remain seated while descending. But then Lynnette put him in full-body pajamas. Cole thought he could simply climb up the slide as easily as he had been doing while barefoot. He was wrong. He took one step, slipped, then banged his head against the slide. He cried again. Madison scooped Cole up and it again took him a few minutes to settle down.
I don’t know why I thought this playground would bring joy to my family. But I do know that I’m going to catch Madison trying to sneak a few slides in when she thinks no one is looking.