Kids crack me up. Seriously. Kids are funny. If you ever need a pick-me-up, just sit back quietly and watch some. I guarantee you will shake your head, chuckle, smile, and probably want to jump out of your seat to save them at least five times—and that’s just in the first ten minutes.
My family sits on our porches everywhere we live. We enjoy being outside with a nice cool breeze, listening to the sounds of the outdoors, watching the animals play, and watching the actual wild animals play. We currently live in a small neighborhood where there is a shared, two or three acre open area in the center of an oval neighborhood. Kids are everywhere, and there is a basketball court, pavilion, and playground immediately behind our house. I assure you, there is always something funny, dumb, or just plain dangerous happening back there.
The last few days, we have been tuning out the airport-runway-slash-Nascar-speedway-crash level noise emitted from all the kids and pre-teens, and just watching them do kid things. We had forgotten all the dumb stuff they do—all—the—time. It really is humorous. For instance, two kids were yelling by a tree near the basketball court the day before yesterday. Upon inspection, one was hauling ass around the tree, his feet nearly sliding out from under him as he rounded every quarter of the trunk. Turns out, he was chasing a squirrel while being egged on by the other boy. As funny as it was just watching, what really made me laugh was when I thought to myself: “What the hell would he have done if he’d caught it?!” I have a sick sense of humor, so all I could picture was him limping home, scratched all to hell, crying that a squirrel had royally kicked his ass.
But that’s typical of kids, isn’t it? They never quiiiiite think things all the way through. That kid, I’m certain, never gave a thought to how vicious those little rodents are. He would have never saw the carnage coming had he caught it—guaranteed.
Yesterday, another crashing sound echoed across the playground. Upon inspection of that one, it was an age-old staple of youth play—running up the slide backward. Oh yes, I’ve done it. You’ve probably done it. And I’d bet a shiny nickel that your kids will do it. It cracks me up—under the protective watch of their parents, little ones slide down the correct way. It’s how the slide is supposed to be used. As soon as they are old enough to go outside by themselves, however, slides reverse polarity and physics go out the window. Stairs? What the hell are those things for?! The never-ending challenge of running backward up the slide, then sliding down occurs until said kid’s butt is too wide to slide back down. Like I said, kids are funny.
Then there is the case of “I really wish your parents were actually watching you, you little brat—stop doing it because I told you too, OMG, I am glad you are not my kid” that happens on virtually every playground in the world. In this case, it was three kids—two entirely too young to be out and about by themselves—trying to ride a much-too-large bicycle down a small hill behind my unit. At the bottom? A storm grate outlined with cement. Perfect for kids who need teeth to be knocked out, but not the ideal place for a soft landing if one fell. And, of course, all three fell. I told them no less than three times to stop playing on the grate before they got hurt, but received nothing but back talk and “that didn’t hurt, see?” I finally had to get a little bit hateful to get them to move on.
While it is humorous most times, I often find myself wondering where the hell their parents are, but the communities I live in have a tendency to revert to a tribe mentality—for better or worse. The upside is I get to watch the ridiculousness without the emergency room expense. The downside is that I almost have to walk away and hope that they don’t really hurt themselves.