Oh. Yeah. That. No.
Run-on happy

Global Heartwarming

Last spring Noah was burned pretty badly on a playground slide. I remember the details exactly -- how fearless he was when he scaled the equipment, how he obediently plopped his bare chunky legs down on the tall spiraling slide while I nagged from below (SIT! SIT! Good baby!), how he slid just far enough to realize that the morning sun had made the slide intensely hot, but too far to stop and climb back up to the top. He froze, his arms and legs went stiff against the sloped sides. He pulled his palms off the slide and wailed in pain, only to inch a little further down the slide, which hiked up his shorts and exposed even more soft white flesh to the heat.

And me? Oh. I just panicked.

I started to scale the slide from the bottom but couldn't get my footing in my flip-flops. (Why it never occurred to me to kick my stupid shoes off, I will never know, I am probably one of those mothers who instead of lifting the car off my trapped toddler in a fit of super-human strength,  I'll run around in circles screaming and then inadvertently set off the car alarm.) I shrieked at my friend to come guard the bottom of the slide and catch Noah if he fell while I started up the stairs on the other side of the...the thing, you know, one of those tall maze-like playground structures that requires you to climb three ladders and cross a drawbridge to get to the top of the slide.

I laid on my stomach and pulled Noah off the slide. He was hot to the touch. Everything -- hands, elbows, legs, even his cheeks, which he'd burned while weeping into the hot plastic in despair -- was red and raw. A crowd of mothers and nannies had gathered, and one woman handed me a bottle of water and ordered me in Spanish to get him to drink some and to douse his skin with the rest.

We were both crying, although Noah got over it before I did. Within minutes he was running happily in the direction of the swings while I muttered curse words at the heavens. DAMN YOU NATURE! ACCURSED SUNSHINE! HOW DARE YOU ILLUMINATE THE EARTH AND CREATE MOLTEN LAVA OUT OF PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT!

Since then, Noah has never ever gone down a playground slide of his own free will. We've taken down on our laps, but he's always hating it and always fighting it. Other than the swings (he adores those), he's remained extremely fearful of most of the stuff on most playgrounds. Those wobbly bridges? Forget it. Crawl-through tunnels? Maybe, but very very slowly, and not if there is another child anywhere in the vicinity. Monkey bars? Pfft. I am no monkey, woman. I'm gonna stay over here, on these awesomely solid metal steps. Which I will sit on and not move. Yes, I am having a great time, thanks.

The past two days have been unseasonably warm. Ridiculously warm. Suspicious-glance-to-the-heavens-in-search-of-stray brimstone warm. We've spent most of our time at the playground.

Specifically, on the slide.

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Go little man. Go and conquer those fears. And get all grubby and crazy-static-haired while you're doing it..

Comments

anna

Yay for Noah! When my now almost eleven year old was Noah's age, he also hated all things on the playset. A fear of heights will keep even the bravest kids away from the evil slides.

Sharon

First??

Sharon

OK, not first. Cute pictures!

Melissa H

would it make you feel any better to know that last spring, in an effort to avoid the hot slide leg burn, I took Biscuit down the slide on my lap and BROKE HER ANKLE?!?!? She's the exact same age as Noah, took more than 6 months but she's back to loving slides.

Yes, mother of the year here.

Katie Kat

I love the static hair thing when you go down a slide! Too funny. GO NOAH!

P.S. Was it a plastic slide? I didn't know those got that hot. I'll be careful from now on!

heidi

what a cutie patootie. and a brave one, at that!

tuesday

That is what life is all about!

kathryn

VICTORY!!

Shawnna

I LOVE Noah's jacket!! Do you mind disclosing where you got it?

Susan

Tears. I have tears. Go, Noah, GO!!!

Brandi

That is huge! Congrats. It really is one thing at a time. I've been reading about your therapy escapadese and while Noah is having a harder time than my son, its not easy at all. My son loves his speech therapist and can't stand his developmental therapist.

Kyla

That story made MY legs hurt. Ouch.

Way to go Noah. First slides, then the world.

Jane

Yay Noah!

What a sweet story.

mswas

I thought you were segueing into how the burning slide made him hate sitting on chairs...

Still - way to go Noah! He'll be crawling through tunnels to traverse wobbly bridges in no time!

Starbuck

I love static hair from playgrounds. I also love that Noah has conquered his quite reasonable fear of slides.

jayne

i am totally a lurker on your lovely blog but read rather religiously.i just wanted to comment today because i thought it might comfort you in some very small way to know that i have an about to be 16 year old son who when he was a toddler refused to do anything at a playground besides sit on my lap....back then there was this place called "discovery zone" that was full of tunnels, balls, mazes andall kinds of things that every single kid in the neighborhood loved. my son? nope, we would have to turn down birthday party invitations because he flat out refused to go...and i am talking that this went on until, well, we don't really go to playgrounds much anymore and discovery zone has closed up shop so who knows if this would STILL be an issue. but my point is, my son is a GREAT kid. he swims competitively, has a ton of friends but he has always, ALWAYS marched to the beat of his own drum. he was diagnosed at 6 with ocd and transient tic disorder and back then i was DEVASTATED. truly thought it was the end of the world. now i look at my kid and with all his little quirks and issues over the years all i see now is a happy kid about to get his driver's permit and realize that all those things he was diagnosed with back then are all just a very very small part of who he is today. yes he has tics and yes sometimes he has to run up the same flight of stairs that he just came down because something didn't feel right but he's so much more than all of that.......wow, sorry, i didnt mean to drone on. the point i wanted to make is that it is all going to be okay. that sometime in the future you will look back on this and it will be a footnoot, that's all, a small piece of your life, not your entire life. much love.

jayne

i am totally a lurker on your lovely blog but read rather religiously.i just wanted to comment today because i thought it might comfort you in some very small way to know that i have an about to be 16 year old son who when he was a toddler refused to do anything at a playground besides sit on my lap....back then there was this place called "discovery zone" that was full of tunnels, balls, mazes andall kinds of things that every single kid in the neighborhood loved. my son? nope, we would have to turn down birthday party invitations because he flat out refused to go...and i am talking that this went on until, well, we don't really go to playgrounds much anymore and discovery zone has closed up shop so who knows if this would STILL be an issue. but my point is, my son is a GREAT kid. he swims competitively, has a ton of friends but he has always, ALWAYS marched to the beat of his own drum. he was diagnosed at 6 with ocd and transient tic disorder and back then i was DEVASTATED. truly thought it was the end of the world. now i look at my kid and with all his little quirks and issues over the years all i see now is a happy kid about to get his driver's permit and realize that all those things he was diagnosed with back then are all just a very very small part of who he is today. yes he has tics and yes sometimes he has to run up the same flight of stairs that he just came down because something didn't feel right but he's so much more than all of that.......wow, sorry, i didnt mean to drone on. the point i wanted to make is that it is all going to be okay. that sometime in the future you will look back on this and it will be a footnoot, that's all, a small piece of your life, not your entire life. much love.

Missie

Love the look on his face in the last pic. He's all, "Mom, the little girl with the bow over there is totally checking me out! You are cramping my style, woman!"

Andrea

Now that's a happy ending.

Chewes

That last line made me laugh - thanks!

Naomi Dunford

Noah is the rockstarrest of rockstars. I remember the first time my oldest fell. He fell off, um, me. I thought he'd never come near me again.

I'm sad to say that he has, indeed, come near me many times despite my attempts to replicate the original scenario. Fucking kids. They're just so resilient! And forgiving!

anna

His near-mohawk is so awesome it took me three times to type my own e-mail address!

Yay for conquering slide fears.

Someone Being Me

He is too cute. I don't blame him for not trusting the playground equipment. I still haven't (mentally) recovered from the blisters the monkey bars put on my hands in the 1st grade. A burning slide sounds even worse. Poor little guy. That is something I will have to keep in mind here in Texas when Bear is big enough for the playground equipment.

AmyM

Yay! Success! Noah is so brave.

Those mothereffing slides get HOT! I know. I burnt my own ass on one.

I love the static hair. My kids get that, too. My daughter pulls it off the best. The longer the hair, the better the effect.

Bri

Yay, Noah! Way to go!

p.s. Love the static hair, too cute!

DebbieS

omg I am CRINGING and wanting to smooch those poor burnt baby legs! I can totally see how you would have been crying even harder and longer than Noah! I think one of those nannies should've slipped you something out of a hip flask in addition to the water bottle!

But yay for happy endings! Yegads he is your clone, woman! That child should be one of the food groups, he's so cute. So will you be posting on the Smackdown that static hair is the new hot thing for '08??

LL

Yay Noah! Growing up in the insanely hot Houston, TX, we always tested the slides before sliding down one- I'm not even sure when I learned to do that, maybe it's ingrained from birth?

Crystal D

He looks like he is really enjoying it now. Oh the safety of pants. :)
Doing it on his own, at his own speed and when he is ready, I think this is going to be little man's motto.

She Likes Purple

What a great post title!? And also adorable pictures.

sarah

I am also a big lurker on your site, and have been going through your archives, at least an hour a night, I swear I am NOT addicted.

This post made me cry. Go Noah!

jodi

Yep, I saw it with my very own eyes. Noah was king of the slide. He wouldn't stop going down it. It was a blast!

Leeann

Aw...go, Noah, GO!

I remember when my first born (now 12) was around 18 months. I helped her climb up the stairs on a metal slide and got her seated at the top, then ran around to the front to catch her as she came down. I watched instead, in horror, as she leaned back and toppled, backwards and head first, down the seven foot slide, slamming her little head and back on the steps all the way down. OMG, I thought I was going to die in fear. She was banged up but okay, as in no broken bones. Emotionally, not so much. It was a good year and a half before she deemed slides worthy of another try.

These things happen and when they do, you will see your life flashing before your eyes. Fortunately, we have resilient kiddos.

A great big thumbs up to Noah from Kate!

Leeann
niccofive.blogspot.com

Z

Just a reiteration of the fact that those pictures are, in fact, adorable! :)

Charlotte

That flying hair?

Too precious.

Makes my ovaries hurt.

Sarah

Yay for Noah! I hate slides because of static ... he's braver then I!

Audra

It is my belief that playground equipment was actually designed as a parental torture device. They are so brightly colored that you can't drive past a park without your kid screaming. They warm up to impossible temperatures by 8 am on a snowy morning and they always shock you when you touch them.

mama speak

isn't it lovely how such a small thing can create such great joy?

he's growing up fast, sigh

Christina

You two are raising one amazing boy. You should be very proud.

Chantelle

March on brave little soldier!
Love the photos and the title.

Chris

The cuteness of the first photo overwhelms me.

QueenBee

I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but I couldn't have enough pictures of Noah. He's so adorable. So "I wanna pack him up and take him home" cute. I just can't get enough. I wish you all the luck in the world for having another one, because if *one* can make so many people happy by just existing? Imagine what TWO could do!

Wacky Mommy

i hate playgrounds. don't tell anyone, especially not my kids, but i hate them.

Amalah

Shawnna - his jacket is from Old Navy, but I think we bought last year, so I don't know if they have anything similar now. It's a great coat though.

Jules

YAY! That is just fantastic!
Jules
House of Jules

Julie

Yay Noah - you brave little guy!
I was cracking up because my guy had the same issue with slides for so long. And he would only go down the slide while sitting on my lap. But on his first day of school this year, he was telling all the kindergarten kids (who are at least a year older) to "Moove!" when they paused at the top of the slide. And now he slides like a little champ! So way to go, Noah! You will be bossing big kids in no time!!!! Yeah for you!
And way to go Amy - I never had a non-English speaking nanny yell at me. I would have freaked for sure and been on the 6 o'clock news...
And the hair is so boss!

All Adither

Hurrah for plastic!

Sadie

Haha! Those pictures are amazing!

Sharri

That's awesome. He probably overcame his fear before you did! I find my son teaches me not to be so freakish about worrying. Or rather when I try to teach him how to deal with being a worrier, it helps me a bit too.

MMM

Oh how traumatic, but how wonderful he's likin' the slide again!!

Cassandra

When I was five, I fell down the steps backwards, hitting my head on every step.

I'm still not a very big fan of slides, and get nervous at the very top of them.

So, go Noah! You rock more than me! :)

Papa Bradstein

Sweet! Amazing how fast kids recover.

At least you didn't burn him to a crisp on a Harley, as we did with 3B.

AMomTwoBoys

Yay for Noah!
And that static hair? Cutest. Thing. Ever.

Tam

Awww! Go, Noah, go!

Great pics, BTW!

anna

One of the many things I adore about children is they are so resilient and they want to heal and conquer their fears. Congrats to you and your little static haired boy.

Angella

Yay Noah!

I *love* the static hair.

suitep

Wow. That cute little boy just taught ME a life lesson.
Thank you, Noah.

Tirzah

Aww, what a sweet story! That's scary about the slide...dang! He's so cute and growing up SO fast!

Maria

Go Noah! The static hair photo is the best.

Heather

That is some sweet awesome static head :-)

Liana

Oh the cuteness! How can we stand it?
Noah not only conquered the slide but did it looking FA-BU-LOUS! :) (that hair! :)

mtngray

Go, Noah, go!

birdgal

My daughter gets static hair every damn time she goes down a slide--it is quite awesome. And yeah for Noah conquering his fears!!

Amber

Awww, Go Noah!!

PS: are those pants baby gap? if so, we have the same ones. so cute!

cursingmama

So, how many boxes of kleenex did you go through writing this down to share with us? I would've been a total puddle. Go Noah. Go Amy.

Aparna

Its so fascinating that kids forget about their fears so easily.My 7 year old son scraped his elbow when he fell down using his heeleys but he got overthe pain the next day!!!

Kate

Dude, I wish my kid would man up like that. He has always point blank refused the swings, and if he sees you glance at them he gets real suspicious. And whenever there is a slide present, he climbs up it in this great hurry like he's going to go down and boy, is it going to be spectacular! And then he proceeds to have a meltdown at the top until someone comes to get him. The playground totally loves us.

ImpostorMom

I love the hair sticking up all crazy! so cute.

Brighton

Go Noah!!

Jamie AZ

Yeah, a triumph! Sorry to hear about the burning, but seeing him on the slide again gives me goosebumps. Yeah, Noah!

zoe

Yeah Noah!!! Love the static hair!

aimee

Oh my goodness, what a horrible slide experience. So glad this crazy weather has let him enjoy the fun of a slide! And, maybe having pants on helped him overcome the fear!

Sheenah

He is too cute and such a brave little guy.

Pamela

I agree with Sheenah -- he is adorable and very, very brave. You are doing a great job!!!

Gaby

Hi Amy, I wanted to delurk after reading through your archives to let you know that I think you are a fantastic woman, a great mom and wife, and someone whom I really wish I could be friends with. To note, some of the random bits that have made me say, "whoa! She feels the same way I do about things" (Gaby = dorky, but not scary, I promise): you are in the writing/publishing world; you've suffered from debilitating depression; you don't like the word moist *shudder*; your backup name for Noah is my #1 currently; etc.

I've loved reading about your life, and I'm glad you've allowed us readers to have a glimpse into it. All my best.

Lela

Static hair do's for the win!

Sarah

ahh that smile, that hair,killing me softly!

heide.estes

Love the hair, the photos, the story. My little guy went down one of the longer twisty slides when he was about 2, and some older kids were throwing water balloons on the slide, and boy-oh-boy did that speed up the ride. He went shooting right off the bottom. I think it took him a full year before he'd go down that kind of slide again.

Kids' courage and persistence is amazing.

Melizzard

I especially love the crazy static hair.

Elizabeth

I bet you snapped about two dozen more photos just like those, didn't you? I know I would have! Go, Noah! You ROCK, little dude.

Julie

Adorable. Looks kind of like he has his hand on one of those science museum thingies that makes your hair stand on end.

Did you know, by the way, that if you're holding hands with someone while you're touching that thing, that person's hair goes up, too, but if you let go, that person gets a shock.

It's good to know that.

Miss Britt

Wow that is awesome. And impressive.

And more than I would do as a grown woman. *I am weenie.*

Ashlie

Isn't it great that children can be so fearless? If only we adults could be a little bit more like them....

BOSSY

Resilience. Something else Bossy doesn't have.

Lamont Cranston

My swingset had a slide back in Tuskaloosa, AL. By the time I was three I had learned 1) touch the slide with my hand. If if gave me an owie I was to 2) Take the hose out. 3) Douse it with the hose until it was cool. 4) Put the hose away.

The slide was dry by the time the hose was put away, but still cool enough not to burn my pastey white little legs.

Lamont

Mrs. Schmitty

Oh Poor little guy! Good for him for conquering his fears!

sheilah

After living in Tucson, AZ and Jacksonville, FL, I have become very wary of slides and such in the summer. My son loves slides but in the summer after about 10AM or before 7PM you just can't use them.

I have definitely learned that you've just gotta touch them suckers before you let your bare-legged little young 'uns slide down those steel (okay, sometimes plastic) deathtraps.

Lisa

I love unseasonably warm weather in the dreary days of January...except when it is followed by Tornado warnings and clashes of nasty cold/warm fronts. Hope that wasn't the case for you. Noah is freaking adorable. That hair!

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