I thought I could handle it. I mean, I’ve done it before. The ups and downs of swinging, the thrill. That feeling in the pit of my stomach.
But last week, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, I tried swinging…and it didn’t go well. I think I’m a little too old. Everyone was so young. I couldn’t even start up a conversation, much less get in the swing of things.
Yup. The playground just isn’t the same once your kids are old enough to seem like a menace to the other mothers. The swingset-set doesn’t take well to women who seem inattentive, who are reading (actually reading!) at the playground, rather than hovering over their child’s every move. Ensuring they don’t fall, over exert themselves, or experience any hardship of any kind. Ever.
But it’s not that I’m inattentive, it’s that my kids are bigger now. They don’t need or want me to hover around them. It’s what I always wished for. And now that I have it, I’m completely, totally bored.
Let’s face it — there is NOTHING more boring than hanging out in the playground while your kids play, and you…well, do nothing. I don’t know the playground moms anymore. We don’t have Music Together classes, or hang out at the JCC. I can’t wax poetic about diaper cream, commiserate over sleep deprivation, or recite to the ounce my children’s weight, height and exact number of bowel movements they’ve had in the last 72 hours.
My kinship is with mothers of school aged kids. We talk about much more important things, like whether or not chocolate milk should be served in the school cafeteria, how many Hannah Montana episodes we’ve had to endure, plus we can recite exact number of points of each Pokemon card in the deck.
These mothers don’t care about stuff like that. Their kids are little. And they’re not only less than thrilled that my big kids are around, they shun me, too. Truly they do. Evidently,what with their advance age and all, I shouldn’t be bringing them to the playground. They’re eight, after all. So I guess I should have them filling out job applications, or registering for the draft.
All this to say: it’s not bad enough that I’ve aged out of “babe-hood.” It’s not enough that my elbows are sagging, spider veins are invading my once lovely legs, and my breasts are fast-sinking to waist height. Now, I’ve even aged-out of the playground.
What next? Will I be banned from the beach for excessive cellulite? Forced to trade in my heels for orthopedic clod-hoppers? Compelled to talk about my ailments at social functions?
Well, if any of that happens, I’ll be sure to keep you posted.