(This picture makes me shudder)
Our history with swings is not a real pretty thing. I think it all started when I was swinging once and my brother decided to stop me by standing behind me and grabbing my ankles. While I was swinging. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that I did a 70 mph face plant. My mom asked him why he did it (after all my crying, screaming and accusations had calmed down) and he said, “I saw Fred stop Wilma like that once.”
Fast forward a couple of decades and I now have a son who is obsessed with swings and swinging. I guess every kid loves it, but he was my first so I thought his love was unnatural. How could one love it SO much? He was also the little kid that had no fear, rarely listened and was dead set on doing things his way.
We were at a friend’s house when he was about 2 1/2 and Austin was playing outside with the much older girls. I was on the porch and had to tell him over and over and over to stay away from the swinging girls. He could get hurt, he was scaring them, blah, blah, blah, not listening, not listening. I turned my head for a second and heard a thunk and a girl scream. We all know what happened. Austin walked right in front of the swinger and got knocked to the ground hard. He got hit so hard that he ended up with a huge grass stain on his almost white blond hair. You heard me right. A grass stain. On his head. Do you think he was hurt and cried? Of course not! He barely blinked, got up and started running around again.
A few years later when he was 4 we were in our backyard enjoying a gorgeous sunny Alaska summer day. He was swinging with all his might (is there any other way?) and I was standing behind the other swing pushing Amber. Suddenly, when he’s about as high as he can go, he falls out and lands on his head/neck/shoulder. You know the surface that usually makes a nice “L” shape? His went completely flat. I’m sure I screamed which made Tyler come bolting over. Again, there was no crying from him or anything. Tyler made sure he was doing okay and didn’t show any signs of trauma (being married to a cop in these circumstances is wonderful). Once he was cleared by Dad, I asked him what happened. He looked at me and said, “I had to pull my britches up.” Yep, he used the word britches.
Three or four years later, we had our backyard completely redone and we hadn’t exactly positioned the swingset where it should have been (it was put in the right spot eventually). I was in the kitchen and I heard the thud of a body hitting something (I was really used to that sound by this point in my parenting career). Austin came running in the house and said, “Mom! Guess what I did?” I didn’t want to guess and I was even more certain I didn’t want to know. He said he made himself fall out of the swing and he hit his head on the fence. On purpose. How do you respond to that? I think I just did my typical, “AUSTIN!” And told him not to do it again.
I don’t even want to know about what he did when I wasn’t around.
Fast forward to his present age of 14. We don’t live in Alaska anymore, but we have a swing set in our backyard. Now he does flips out of the swing and so much other stuff I can’t even think about. It amazes me on an almost daily basis that he’s only ever broken his finger and that was just from tripping over the chihuahua.
Now you can see why I can’t help but shudder every time I see a swing set.