Last Saturday we got a swingset. Hubby almost killed himself getting it to our house (he tells a pretty funny story about it that involves, amongst other things, a 7-foot man), but with a little help from me we got it into the backyard and he had it set up for the next day.
It's pretty cool for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it was free. We replaced one of the belt swings with a toddler swing that we got at Canadian Tire for 15 bucks, so I guess it technically cost us $15, but that's basically free when you consider how much these things cost when they're new, or even slightly used.
Secondly, it's fun for the whole family, not just my little girl. The remaining belt swing also needs to be replaced; it's all cracked and pretty small and it makes my hips sore if I sit in it for too long, but regardless I still love to swing in it.
But now that we have this swingset, I really feel like a parent.
Not that I haven't felt like a parent for these past 23.5 months, it's just that the swingset is a very large, very tangible reminder of it. I guess what it really signifies is that my little girl is growing up, and that even though I still call her 'my baby,' the baby is truly gone and she's well on her way to being a 'child.'
We weren't originally on the market for a swingset, and even after seeing that this one was available, Hubby hemmed and hawed for a few days. He was afraid that if we had swings in our backyard our little girl would lose interest in the park.
Luckily that didn't happen, and I've found it to be a great addition to our backyard shenanigans. In fact, this morning my little girl and I spent almost two straight hours out in the backyard, largely due to the swings. Yesterday we spent about an hour out there. And she doesn't want to spend the entire time on the swings, either. We'll swing for a good long while, and then she wants to come down and do other things (rock on her bicycle, play on her water table, blow bubbles, run around). This morning she wanted to go back on the swing; yesterday she told me she was tired after about 45 minutes outside and wanted to come in.
It's great. It's the one time in her life that I could plop her down in one place and she'd be happy for more than 2 minutes. She was never one to be 'trapped' - she had a couple of jumpers and an activity 'centre' or two, and she'd be amused for a few minutes and then she just wanted to get out of there. At least with the swing she's moving, even though she's still 'trapped' in the swing. I managed to water the garden while she was swinging (with a couple of trips back to give her a push) and I could actually sit in one place for more than a few seconds (without her constantly grabbing at me and saying 'mamma come'). The swings have certainly made our backyard trips much more relaxing for both of us.
I just hope she doesn't turn out like the creepy girl next door who swings all the time. Seriously, she swings all the damn time. At night. In the rain. We've even seen her out there in a parka at like 10 pm in the middle of winter.