Saturday, May 2, 2015

8 Ways that the Playground Is Like a Medieval Torture Chamber for Parents

Contrary to the popular Game of Thrones memes circulating the Interwebs, Summer is Coming. If you're a parent, that means you will likely be putting in a lot of long, hot hours playing* with your kids at the playground in the next few months.

* "Playing" is a euphemism for making sure your offspring don't kill themselves or anyone else's. 

And it’s best to be prepared for the hell you may encounter.

Yes, I said hell. Because taking your kids to the playground can be torture. Not just figuratively speaking. Like, actual physical torture. Think I’m exaggerating? I am. But if you could use a good laugh and can relate to some of the discomforts of playgrounding, check out the list below. 

Here are eight medieval torture methods you may be subjected to at your local playground this summer:

1. Torture method: Being burned at the stake.

What it does: Makes you hot. Like, real hot. And not in the fun, sexy way.

Playground equivalent: Running around with your kids on that shredded tire crap often used in the name of “safety” and “landfill reduction.”

Pssshhh. Safety, my ass. Maybe it’s just because I live in Texas (a type of torture in and of itself), but walking on that shit when it’s sunny out is like walking on hot coals. If playground architects want something “safe” and “recyclable,” maybe they should consider bubble wrap. Because who the hell doesn't love some good bubble wrap?

Seriously, I almost feel bad for the dude who thought it was a good idea to cover a kids’ play land with heat absorbing material. Karma’s a bitch. I hope he carries a fire extinguisher around with him in case he spontaneously combusts someday.

2. Torture method: The Judas Cradle.

What it does: Essentially a stool with a pyramid shaped seat, this thing literally tears up the victim’s anus or vagina.

Playground equivalent: “Playing” on the teeter totter.

If your kids are like mine, they can’t let a playground trip go by without begging you to be the teeter to their totter. The wooden ones are the worst. Splinters up your ass? Not my idea of “fun.” Now, I’m sure there are plenty of moms out there (myself included) who don’t mind a little wood in their vajayjays (amirite?), but not in a goddamn literal sense.

3. Torture method: The Rack.

What it does: Invokes a system of pulleys and levers to pull the victim’s limbs apart until his joints are dislocated or separated completely.

Playground equivalent: Bringing more than one kid with you.

If you've ever accompanied multiple children to the playground, you probably know what it feels like to have your limbs ripped apart in opposite directions.

4. Torture method: The Pillory.

What it does: Subjects the victim to public humiliation and ridicule. This is basically a wooden framework thing that has holes for you to stick your head and hands through. You've probably seen them at fairs or amusement parks, and may even have a goofy picture of your family posing in one during a family vacation.

Playground equivalent: Crawling through plastic tubes.

If you've ever chased your kid through a playground tunnel—only to find your birthing hips or post-baby belly wedged firmly inside of it, your head or arms hanging out of the sides—surely you understand where the public humiliation aspect comes into play here.

5. Torture method: Waterboarding.

What it does: Gives you the terrifying sensation of drowning.

Playground equivalent: Unexpectedly having your face shoved into a water fountain.

There is no such thing as a “safe zone” at the playground: not even that area off to the side—where the water fountains are located—theoretically away from the chaos of impromptu tag games and kids on various wheeled contraptions (even though the sign on the fence clearly prohibits all bikes, roller blades, etc.) The moment you sneak away to a water fountain and lean down to hydrate, some little tot on a scooter rams into you, forcing your head forward and filling your nostrils with lukewarm playground water.

6. Torture method: The Tongue Tearer.

What it does: Umm…this one should be pretty self-explanatory.

Playground equivalent: Biting your tongue when you see someone else’s kid being a brat.

You probably know you shouldn't discipline other people’s kids, but that doesn't mean it’s easy to keep your mouth shut when you see some little snot rocket prancing around like King Friday in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

7. Torture method: The Breast-Ripper.

(If you're like me, this probably isn't a huge concern for you. Hard to grip AAs.)

What it does: Again, do I really need to elaborate?

Playground equivalent: Nursing near the monkey bars.

To be fair, if you’re whipping out the boob juice dispensers around a bunch of rowdy kids, you’re kind of asking for trouble. Monkey bars tend to bring out the inner (poorly trained) gymnast in everyone under the age of twelve, and most of these kids don’t have the best control over their flailing—yet surprisingly solid—little bodies. One loose grip, and you could lose a nip.

8. Torture method: Rat torture.

What it does: Traps rats against the victim’s abdomen until they begin gnawing through his innards.

Playground equivalent: The merry-go-round.

Yeah, I don’t know about you, but spinning around in circles pretty much makes me feel like my stomach and small intestine are being ripped out of me by tiny rodent teeth.

If you think the playground is a heavenly place where kids burn off all their energy while you sit on a park bench, browsing shirtless Liam Hemsworth photos on your phone, think again. 

Yes, sometimes the monkey bars align, the kids are calm and self-sufficient, the weather is awesome, and the playground is magical. But when it’s not?

Well, hopefully you have a high pain threshold. Or a babysitter.

*For the record, I happen to love taking my boys to the playground...when it's not infinity.8° out. And we've all logged sufficient nap time. And there aren't any shitwits hanging around.

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