Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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I Have Super Powers

When you take your kids to the playground, do you get sucked into the games they play?

Good luck keeping up with this game.  "And we go down the slide...
and then I clone myself again, Mommy!"

In my pre-kid days, I thought parents took kids to the playground to let them run around and burn off energy so that they'd immediately pass out after dinner and sleep through the night.  The parents, meanwhile, got a break and sat on a bench in the shade and called, "That's nice, dear," over the top of the book they were finally getting a chance to read.
I was wrong, as it turns out.
If there aren't any other kids at the park, then the playground is actually just a place where children get all riled up and sweaty while their parents' last precious stores of energy are completely consumed by narrowly preventing head trauma and acting as the entire supporting cast of characters for the kids' chosen activity.

We've been through many phases of playground games.  For a long time they wanted me to chase them while pretending to be a monster or the Bad Power Ranger or a villain from Scooby Doo.  Then they discovered the swings, and I pushed them and did underdogs until I'd pretty much fatigued my arms off.  For a while, Pirates was the game of choice; the bark chips were shark infested water, and I'd sneak onto their ship/playground equipment, making myself them giggle by threatening to steal their booty.

Lately, it's all about superheroes.

The vast majority of the time we spend on this game is dedicated to settling on which super powers each person gets.  We each get three, and there is A LOT of mind changing that goes on.  The most popular ones are invisibility, force fields, and freeze rays - everybody wants those.

Of course, I never get those powers.  That, coupled with the fact that it's way more fun to let them win, means I spend a lot of time frozen, or searching for kids while pretending I can't see them dancing around right in front of my face, or running into force fields just when I was finally about to catch them.

But the last time we were at the park I decided to branch out from our usual arsenal of powers, and I made up some new ones.  While Jake and Zoe had powers such as lightning bolt finger guns and lead shoes (the bark chips were lava this time), I chose:

  • The power to embarrass you in public
  • The power to revoke your potty training at will
  • The power to bring you into this world and the power to take you out of it

You won't be surprised to hear that I kicked their buns that day.  I was using that first power with wild abandon because grown ups have no shame,  and there's really no recovering when you try to zap your mom with lightning bolts and she yells, "I take back your potty training - you just peed your pants!"

I have a feeling we'll be playing a different game the next time we go to the park.  Which is too bad - I was just starting to like that one.

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just keep swimming said...

Wait? You mean park time is not catch up on Facebook
And Twitter feed time? Hell if I'm taking my kids there!
I love the power to revoke potty training at will so long as they have the power to wash and change their own clothes. Hilarious!

Stacie @ Snaps and Bits said...

So funny! I have lost my super powers now that my youngest is 8 (but he conveniently still has them)!

Kerstin said...

That is hilarious! And true. Grown ups have no shame. Us mothers have earned the right to be shameless and enjoy every second of it!

Since our playground days are pretty much over, my superpower of the day is resisting to urge to divorce my husband because he watches the Maury Povic Show every morning before he goes to work. He reached a new low this morning when he said: Oh look, it's Trish, she's been on the show before"

RobynHTV said...

I know, what a rip off! I feel betrayed.

Good point on the laundry thing. I should've taught them that first... :/

RobynHTV said...

Oh NO, you can't ever give up your powers! It's the only way to defend yourself against tiny tyrants who still buy in to make-believe. :)

RobynHTV said...

Bwahahahahaha! Clearly, your super power is sainthood.

Steph at The Healthy Mom said...

That's so great. My kids are starting to grow out of the superhero stage and it makes me sad. I may try to force them to play the superhero game with me at the park the next time we go. Or maybe I'll bring a book instead and let them do their own thing. That's the beauty of 7- and 9-year old boys.

sporkgasm said...

The "I take back your potty training" is a really good power. I actually laughed out loud when I read that 'cause I pictured you pointing with a stern look on your face, legs slightly apart in a powerful stance, yelling this out.

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

We have a post coming up where we decide which super power we would want. I chose the ability to not have to eat healthy or exercise and Pat chose Human Mood Ring. Crime would have a heyday with us.

RobynHTV said...

I highly recommend it, although the book thing sounds mighty good, too. At 7 and 10 my kids will occasionally fend for themselves, especially when other kids are there, but more often than not I get pulled into it. Which is ok because A) I know it won't last forever and 2) with a little baby in tow now too, there's reallly no hope for me sitting undisturbed on a bench anyway. ;)

RobynHTV said...

It's like you were there! I used my most serious superhero voice, too, and I think I caught another mom laughing, or maybe she was just choking on something after gasping in disbelief at my immaturity. Hard to tell.

RobynHTV said...

::laughing:: I love you guys so much. I hope you're not joking about that, because I really need to read that post.

Stacey said...

I get sucked into the games kids play and I don't have kids, which can make it awkward for everybody.

BTW, what is an underdog?

Nicole Leigh Shaw said...

Excellent! I was playing a similar game recently at my mom's. The kids were hiding stuff and my mom used her x-ray vision to find them. I made up "sonar hands" and closed my eyes and held out my palms and made pinging noises. Eventually I'd ping faster and say, "The Barbie is hidden behind that stuffed panda!" Then my high school--aged brother came in and said, "Why do you need sonar hands when you have eyes?" Asshole.

RobynHTV said...

Well, as long as you don't start playing with random kids while wearing dark glasses and driving a van with tinted windows you should be okay.

An underdog is an advanced maneuver in which you push a child on a swing while ducking and running under the swing, thus pulling several muscles and getting kicked in the forehead. It's exactly as much fun as it sounds.

RobynHTV said...

Brothers can be such jerks. At my house, that's right around the time his head would be getting scanned with pointed, "too bad, no brain in here" sonar pings.

bonbon said...

I don't have kids yet and am in no ways ready for a baby, but lately I've been thinking I am ready for a ten year old. I want kids to go do all this fun stuff with me- I could see myself totally getting sucked into their games, just like you described yourself being. I know I would love to play games with my kids and do sports and go swimming, etc. I just found your blog and have loved looking around and getting to know you better. I'm excited to follow along!

new follower :)

RobynHTV said...

Thanks for commenting, partly because I heart comments but also because it led me to your blog and I'm a fan. :)

I can totally understand wanting to skip the baby phase and get right to the games and superhero stuff of life with a 10yo. It hurts less when they come out as babies, though. ;)

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

Haha- you are much better parent than me! When my daughter wants to play princesses, I tell her to resort with playing with her dolls. It is the only time when I can actually sit and read a book at the park. She has lots of friends who play there and she is old enough to play with them. You are a much better parent than me-LOL:)

RobynHTV said...

Oh no, I sure wouldn't say that! If there are kids their age around, I'll tell them to quit being shy and go make friends (though you won't catch me wandering over to make friends with the other moms - I wonder how long it'll be until they notice the double standard)...

Kim at Let Me Start By Saying said...

My superpower when at the park is the ability to pretend I am actually really really impressed with whatever banal thing my kids are showing me without actually breaking my train of thought about something not in the park at all.

RobynHTV said...

Oooh, good one! That's a tough skill to master:

Mouth: "That's great, honey, I see you on the ladder - wow, did you find that rock all by yourself?"

Brain: "Why, thank you for the marvelous introduction - there are so many people I'd like to thank for this Pulitzer..."

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