Sunday, January 4, 2009

How to Buy Yourself 2 Hours of Free Time

When we first moved into this house, we were thrilled that the previous owners had decided to leave a backyard playset behind. It had a slide and a couple of swings and it was a little worn, but our kids loved it. Unfortunately, our backyard backs up to a large field and we get these super strong winds that rush through during the spring. Despite the 11-inch spikes that anchored the playset into the ground, within 5 months of moving in, it toppled twice. The second time we found it 20 feet from it's original location and it was pretty much destroyed. You would think we lived in tornado alley or someth... wait, never mind. Anyway, we threw the wood pieces away, but kept the plastic slide and swing pieces just in case we wanted to be great parents and make the kids another playset. Those stupid pieces have been in our garage for 8 months.

And here's the part when my husband James really impressed me. He secretly brought the slide in and positioned it at the bottom of our basement stairs. He put a bunch of pillows at the end of the slide since there is wall about 3 feet from the stairs. If he didn't put the pillows there, the kids would probably be smacking their heads into the wall each time they slid down. Peyton might have enjoyed crashing the first couple times, but I bet it would've gotten old pretty fast. Also, I would have had to do some actual parenting to make sure they stayed safe. This way, Peyton and Ella can be all crazy if they want and they are protected by a mountain of cushion. And I get to watch soap operas and eat Bon-Bons. Okay, I don't really, but I totally could!

The first time they saw it, they played on that slide for 2 hours, and I'm not making that up. It's 5 degrees outside, and my kids are out of breath and sweaty playing on a slide. Ever since then, every time I ask them if they want to go play on the slide, they screech, "Yeah!" And then I'm rewarded with at least half an hour of free time.

James just got some major bonus points. Which is good, since I start his bonus points at zero at the beginning of each new year. Just kidding - I love you honey!

Did you notice that my kids decided not to wear matching socks today? If you did, you also get bonus points. Your friends and family should be proud.


Anonymous said...

What a great idea! You'd think someone would've come up with slides designed for use with stairs before now, but apparently James is more clever than the rest of us!

Jennifer said...

This is a great idea! And we just happen to be closing on a home that actually has stairs this Friday! I am going to have to do that!

Anonymous said...

I had to make a deal with my twins this year that they could wear 'crazy' socks on days only when they don't have school. We went to a fall fair last fall and they had to take their shoes off to go into one of those jumping things and a little girl behind us asked her mom 'why do those girls have socks that don't match?'

I figure it is a little battle I don't have to fight.

What a great idea; I wish I could do it too!


mommyfinds said...

I LOVE this idea! If you don't happen to have a spare slide around, you can buy just the slide at Home Depot or Lowes. Great investment for a little time.

BTW-I've decided footwear, both shoes and socks, are a non-issue with my girls, unless it's a pretty special occasion. They usually make decent choices. My MOPS group thought about selling buttons that say, "I dressed myself today" just to let moms off the hook while in public!!

Sarah said...

Hi Darcy,
I'm new to your blog (found it from a link on parenthacks) and I wanted to say that I really enjoy your posts and humor. This slide idea is awesome and I plan to use it for my almost three year old son. And if that idea wasn't enough, I noticed your quote on the top of the page is from Arrested Development! My favorite show! Which no one has ever heard of!! And in another post you referenced Shrute Farms! (I swear, I don't watch TV ALL the time). Anyway, I'll be a loyal reader... keep up the good blogging.

Anonymous said...

looks like fun! But see those little white lines running across the slide? I fear it may not be long before a crack appears somewhere...

Marti said...

I'm another parent-hack linker. :) LOVE this idea! I'm going to be heading to Home Cheapo this afternoon for some paint and I may just pick up a slide! :) My husband will freak. What will be more fun? His reaction... or my kids excitement? Oooooh! You'll have to check out my blog (in like a month - I'm way behind in my posting) to find out!

Amy (Super Healthy Kids) said...

That looks so fun Darcy! And by the way, did you know Justice (girls clothing store) actually sells their socks mis-matched on purposed! Yep, it's the new thing apparently. yOur kids are just ahead of their time in the fashion world :)

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