Keith – please don’t read this post. Or at least skip past the beginning part. Thank you.
I don’t wear socks to bounce houses. (Can you feel it coming? That’s right I’m about to hit you with some advanced parenting wisdom.)
I don’t wear socks because you have to wear socks to go on the various bouncy things. And if a child gets stuck on one of the aforementioned bouncy things then the parent with the socks ends up going to save the child. On more than one occasion my sock-less self has sadly said:
“Sorry, Keith, I don’t have socks on. It’s against the rules for me to climb up the 20-foot tall inflatable rock wall, low crawl through the inflatable tunnel filled with children, and plunge down the inflatable slide with our crying child. Sorry. Rules are rules. **sigh** If only I’d worn socks.”
Yep, it’s not my first rodeo.
Despite my use of the sock-less technique, I was relieved when my normally fearless three-year-old decided not to climb up the giant tower. (Sometimes Keith counters my “I have no socks!” technique with his “I’m 6’3!” technique.) Emily, however, plunged her 7-year-old self right into the daunting structure.
She soon realized that it wasn’t just the height of the tower that made it challenging. There weren’t solid floors at each level – just interwoven belts that you push aside to climb through. When other kids pushed the belt aside the whole “floor” would wiggle and you could fall through to the level below. This realization paralyzed her around level two or three.
As I prepared to show Keith my sock-less feet and he started to stand up as straight as possible to highlight his awkward-for-bounce-house height, a kind child helped Emily down. (For shame, Keith. For shame.)
Emily was a bit thrown off her game. She’s not used to being the child who needs rescuing. She went off to one of the other bouncy things and bounced reflectively for a couple of minutes. Then her smile came back, she walked up to me and said:
“Mom, I know what I did wrong. I looked down and I worried about the wigglers (wigglers = interwoven belts). This time I’m looking up and I’m going to think about me going down the big slide at the end!”
She marched up to that tower and did exactly that, wiggly floors and all.
That’s my girl.
May the metaphorical wiggly floors of your week end in amazing, metaphorical slides. May your feet be sock-less and your partner short. May you find wisdom in unexpected places!