I will take this opportunity to admit here that I am totally "THAT" parent, the one who doesn't let her kid go on every ride at the playground, because I sense danger -- on this particular case, it took the form of tweens and young teens, roaming the park with no apparent parental supervision.
Know what I don't understand? How 12-ish-year-olds can walk and chew gum and talk and text and have fights with their boyfriends/girlfriends and be mean to little kids, all at the same time. Is this a specific set of life skills that my daughter is going to learn someday?
Also: we are now officially too big for the baby swings, but I will never understand why playgrounds don't have a sort of intermediate swing, one that is not quite so big and not quite so far off the ground. Didn't they used to? I used to go on the swings. What are today's 3-to-6-year-olds supposed to do at the park when their mothers won't let them go on the merry-go-round?
I mean, she still had fun in the baby swing, but I caught her more than once watching the bigger kids on their bigger swings. She totally wants in on that action.
And I think we found the one sliding board in the world that she doesn't want to go on -- one of those shiny metal numbers, the kind they had when I was little, on the playgrounds that had asphalt and blacktop under the monkey bars, instead of mulch and shredded rubber and bouncy protective stuff.