January 5, 2024

Swing On By Emergency Room

  At first, I thought that this was a joke. It’s a serious toy set sold on Amazon, and it came up in my feed. Any parent who buys this for their kids either loves visiting the emergency room or hates their children. Seriously, a swing hung from a tension bar in a doorway? First, when we were kids, we treated swing sets like launch pads to the moon. We would pump hard enough so that we swung back and forth higher than the bar. And what kid wouldn’t be tempted to jump off the damn thing, whether it’s indoors or outside? Crash! Right into the China cabinet. Or the kid jumps and flies through a plate-glass window. Even if nothing else, the kid swings high enough to bonk their head on the ceiling. Also, do you think that flimsy tension bar is strong enough to not break off? We used to rock the entire swing set hard enough to pull the poles out of the ground. Even if the parents have the skills and tools to install it properly, the molding trim around the door will rip off, sending the kid flying. Put the swing aside and look at what comes with it: a knotted rope and a rope ladder. Watch the kids accidentally hang themselves with the knotted rope while playing a 21st century version of Tarzan. Also, count the minutes until the kids get the idea to dangle the rope ladder out of a window to scale down the side of their house and then plunge to their death. Amazing. Do I sound like a parent, or what? I survived childhood in the 1960s and 1970s when playgrounds culled the weak and unlucky from the herd. Concrete, steel, and scraped knees are what I remember. Because of that, I know what my friends and I would do with this home swing set and ropes. If my siblings and I had this set when we were young, our parents would have invested in their own ambulance. I don’t want kids to play survival games like we did when we were young. Oh Lord.

*Originally posted on my Facebook page 12/14/2021

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