Dear Monkey Bars

Holly Collingwood essays

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Dear Monkey Bars,

I hate you.

Playgrounds are so fun, until my kids discover you. You hide slyly behind a slide or climbing wall and then BAM. There you are, discovered. Begging for attention.

My 7-year-old conquered you several years ago. It took many hours of painful assistance on my part, but she did it.

During those hours of practice, I was kneed in the nose, had my trachea nearly torn out by an innocent looking Croc, was kicked in the boob and had my ear used as a step ladder.

Each time I looked up to check on her progress I looked directly into the sun which scared my retinas. Or sand fell off my daughter’s shoes and slipped into my tender eyeball.

I don’t understand your magnet like qualities. My daughter will cross your bars until the blisters on her hands are the size of nickels. She can’t quit. Are you serving crack?

We run out of fingers when we count the number of friends who have broken wrists or sprained ankles while falling from your bars. Do you like pain? Because you cause it.

And then came the 5-year-old. He practiced and practiced. He booted and bent me like Beckham in all the same places. Bruised, I spotted him to the best of my ability. And when I was only holding on to the back of his shirt as he crossed, unaware that he had the physical ability, but not the mental confidence, I did what all good mothers do. Bribery.

“If you can make it all the way across by yourself, I’ll give you this dollar.” He did it—licitly split.

And then he did it again and asked for another dollar. He’s a player.

And now I still have one more child to teach. I think I’ll don a flak jacket and helmet this go around.

Please, Monkey Bars I beg you. The teeter totter has retired; go with your teeter totter friend. Retire to playground heaven. Go.



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About the Author

Holly Collingwood

I am a stay at home mom by day and a freelance writer by night. My kiddos are 3, 5 and 7 and full of energy and crazy loudness. I love good jeans, snow forts, wildflower hikes, playing barefoot in the grass, jellybeans and homemade guacamole. Grumpy people, dogs and saliva are on an entirely different list. Read more about my adventures at .

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