Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Poor Man’s Slide

Back in the day, I remember a cardboard box as being one of the greatest toys and tools to a single-digit-aged kid, and the best summer day for us was when the refrigerator died or the washer blew up. Sure, it meant money spent by our parents, but that didn’t register because we only looked forward to the big box that could be used as a fort or a makeshift go-kart.

Now that I’m a parent of active kids on the verge of an accidents, I hen over them when I think they’re going to get hurt, so I don’t know how my mother could stomach knowing that my brother and I (along with Mike down the street) used to strap a fridge box to a couple of wagons, climb in and shove it down the hill toward immanent peril. Since cardboard boxes aren’t normally equipped with brakes, the best method of stopping the freight train was to tip it over at the bottom of the hill and slide to a halt…provided we made it that far.

On Saturday afternoon, we all piled into the family truckster and headed out in search of some patio furniture, considering that Spring is finally upon us and we would like to enjoy the great outdoors without sitting on crates while balancing our dinners on our knees. Of course, knowing us, we found a furniture set we liked at the first place we went, but then decided that we would go to three other places, wait two weeks, look through catalogs and online stores only to return to the first place we went to buy the first set we found. Typical.

At any rate, it came in two boxes, and as I opened them, the child in me screamed to play with them. One was about the size of a washing machine and I figured that would make a great fort, while the other one was flat, wide and long… perfect for a slide.

I dragged it halfway up the slope in our backyard and the brood came scrambling, quickly catching onto the concept after I shuttled Matthew down the slide only to tumble into the grass, replete with squeals of delight. Hillside hilarity ensued, and even Kara got into it.

I kept thinking that we must have looked like a gaggle of hillbillies, yuking it up in the backyard over a piece of cardboard like we had never seen civilized playground slides before.

Enjoy the video clip… see if it works better than the last time.

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