Right. So, that last post was . . . probably an ill-advised use of the Publish button, amplifying an ugly little online situation and ultimately spreading the yuck around. I definitely did not mean for Gillian to receive personal attacks in return, and I am very sorry for that. All I can say is that I was feeling angry and hurt and this is where I tend to go when I feel that way. It always helps, sometimes just by the process of writing something out and thus banishing it from my head to the screen, but more often because of the kindness and sanity so many of you send in my direction.

Still, it would have been smarter to just let it go: not worth my attention, not worth wasting your time by bringing it to your attention. Especially when we have other things to discuss, like playgrounds.

I found the Best Playground Ever this weekend. I never thought I’d be the sort of person who would be all, “OH MY GOD, STOP THE CAR! DID YOU SEE THAT? THAT AWESOME-LOOKING PLAYGROUND?!” — but hey, I never thought I’d find myself using my pinky finger to more accurately remove a booger from a nostril that is not my own.

My criteria for Best Playground Ever includes the following:

The entire place should be deserted. I know, that sounds really anti-social and kind of greedy, but an empty playground means you can just completely dork out with your kid and dangle upside down from the monkeybars without worrying about a stranger being privy to the unflattering sight (or sounds) of you heaving yourself back upright.

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There should be plenty of things for a little kid to safely play on. I know, sounds like a no-shitter, right? But I can’t count the number of playgrounds that have, say, metal slides that heat to approximately 3958301 degrees on a sunny day. Have fun, kids! See you at the burn center!

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There should be several structures for an adult male to try and jump over.

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I don’t know, I guess it’s like how I can’t pass a shoe store without pressing my forehead to the window and snorfling like a truffle-pig: JB can’t pass a leapable object without giving it a go.

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There should be a soft surface for cushioning the painful fall when a small child drops from where he was cruelly forced to dangle, Survivor-style, with no assistance.

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(I kid, I kid. He was jumping off that step.) (OR WAS HE PUSHED OMG CALL CPS.)

There should be a (non-metal) slide that is barely big enough for a grownup’s ass to fit into, so as you go down you make that humiliating eeeeeeeeeee sound.

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The Best Playground Ever should make your kid shout, “HEY! THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA, MOMMY!” afterwards.
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Also, the act of screeching your way down the aforementioned slide should build up, like, a LOT of static electricity, so your husband can laugh so hard at your expense he accidentally rips a gunshot-loud fart while pointing the camera at you.

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Naomi
14 years ago

wow, that playground looks like fun. I want to play there.

Naomi
14 years ago

also, why on earth would anyone email Gillian about her blog and attack her? Wow, some people are super immature and drama-oriented. YUCK!

clarabella
14 years ago

Weeeee! Fun! Wish we had something like that around here.
I love how Dylan’s obviously thrilled and amazed at JB’s jump over that . . . well, that black squiggly thing.

ellie
14 years ago

excellent playground! care to share where it is – and if children are optional or should i plan on renting a few for the occasion?

ellie

Casey
14 years ago

Awesome action shots. You need to keep that hair, it suits you!

mixette
mixette
14 years ago

That looks like an awesome playground – and it has wood chips instead of sand/gravel/dirt that gets in every crevice. Love it when the grownups can play too!

Woah… Riley looking like a little shrunken JB doing the ninja jumps.

(Like your blue sneakers too – super cute)

lindz
14 years ago

yay yay..all better.

Trina
Trina
14 years ago

My daughter’s hair looks just like that when she goes down the slide only her hair is curly so it straightens out the curls and makes everyone around laugh. :)

Sonia
Sonia
14 years ago

*snort* LOVE! JB’s leaping prowess always makes me giggle. And “gunshot loud fart” was NOT what I was expecting to read there, which produced a laugh out of me, not unlike that of a braying donkey.

I tried not to fan the flames of the last post, by adding to it. But I want you to know that I totally understand how it feels to have someone who does not know you, take your attempt at coping with parenthood via blog, out of context and be nasty to you. It truly does suck, and I have NO idea what the best way to handle that situation is. I torched my blog. While it killed the Troll’s access to me, I no longer have an outlet that was 99% supportive.

Aaaaaaaand…….I totally forgot my point. Was there one? Er……oh yes! It’s easier said than done, but please don’t let that person get to you too much. There really are hundreds of people who get your humor and know how much you love your kids, AND who enjoy your writing very much. That one who is precariously balanced on her Pedestal of Perfection, has a long way to fall before she realizes that there’s more than one successful way to parent. You’re a great mom, a great writer, and funny as HELL. ;)

Mama Ritchie
14 years ago

How fun! Hey, I love your shoes! Who makes them, and where can I get some?

Looks like a perfect fall day.

marilyn
14 years ago

Whoo! I totally love hanging upside-down from the monkey bars too.

Mary O
Mary O
14 years ago

That is one awesome playground. Looks all space-agey and cool. God, I wish I could move back to Seattle.
Not to beat a dead horse, but I do think that Gillian lady got what was coming to her. Blech.

Michelle
14 years ago

As if I didn’t already mourn the fact that we live too far apart to have play dates, you had to go and show me that you are even more fun than I already suspected.

tanya
tanya
14 years ago

so re: the metallic testicles? have an idea for the girl version of that. Flappin’ Vag. Trademark mine. But can’t you picture it? : )

Crystal
14 years ago

As far a G is concerned, Opinions are like ASSHOLES we all have one. Too bad she had to share hers.

off topic, slightly: Have you tried a big loud fan in Dylan’s room for noise? My kids are 4 and 2 and cant sleep without the fan on. The white noise really helps.

Anyway, we love an empty playground too. And I also have a husband that cant resist the urge to jump over things. If I am super-lucky maybe my 4 year old will inherit that skill.

You all look fantastic. Enjoy the rest of fall!

Victoria
14 years ago

Best. Hair. EVAR!

Cameron
14 years ago

Good stuff. And I can relate to your husband, sometimes the fart just rips out…and sometimes we have to push. Nuff said.

Lesley
Lesley
14 years ago

Love the playground pix, especially the one of Riley jumping and D watching his dad jump.

Re Type A: I’m one of those who called her a bitch for what she did, and don’t regret it. What she did – the gossipy slanderous commentary – was worse than bitchy.

I’m surprised you’re surprised that many of your readers reacted with hostility to it. It isn’t as if it’s the first time. Hopefully it’s the last, but next time I’ll restrain myself from expressing my opinion. :)

Dianna
14 years ago

Oooohhh, that looks like a lot of fun!

Kate
14 years ago

What IS it with JB and his leaping over things?? LOL

Jennifer
14 years ago

Hasn’t this October just been the BEST! You found an empty playground during this awesome weather. And it looks like there is really cool stuff at this playground.

Now the only tragedy here is that Dylan is too little to play on anything. It looks like he’s having fun watching his dad jump, but he’s really thinking: “six months from now I can join the fun! c’monnnn, spring 2009.”

oregoncoastgirl
oregoncoastgirl
14 years ago

I responded to typealice in what I thought was an incredibly generous manner, considering what she wrote. I did think, carefully, about what I wrote. I don’t, however, think that she did. with that said… damn, you & JB make my ovaries hurt!!

Kari
Kari
14 years ago

Okay, random positive thoughts:

You have terrific teeth. I am so weird in that is usually the first thing I notice about someone.

Your hair looks GREAT, even in the static picture. Like, eff you great.

I have a small, healthy crush on JB and an abiding admiration for his vertical leap.

Riley absolutely kills me.

Ponder for a moment what possesses a balanced person to get so infuriated with another woman’s parenting skills that she not only cannot simply close out the blog SHE VOLUNTARILY READS, but has to make a ranty post about it, citing her certain superiority.

The answer is that there isn’t such a balanced person. She is, quite frankly, batshit, batshit nuts, and I can only imagine how well her online social skills serve her with friends and her own family. Which is to say, not at all. I strongly suspect there are quite a few people in her physical world who have had much stronger reactions to her her absolute opinions.

anna
anna
14 years ago

Whoa! You’ve got great teeth Linda!

kali
14 years ago

And this would be why I’ve been reading your blog for oh- (is it really this long? wow) eight years or so. Because you are smart, funny, talented, very caring, and especially specific to this situation- you always manage to pull some lovely reminder of a positive outlook up, no matter what the situation, it feels, and that habit of yours is one I have on many occasions been able to turn to for inspiration and encouragement in my own life.
See, look at you, so super you’re doing good deeds without even knowing about it. ;)

Donna
Donna
14 years ago

I can’t WAIT to read trick or treating: pagan evil or harmless fun……….this should be good.

Jess
Jess
14 years ago

Seriously, this is why I love your blog so much…you are like my Seinfeld of the blog world. Who else could write about a playground, and yet it be the funniest thing I’ve read all week.
I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NancyJak
14 years ago

Although I didn’t post on her blog, she got what she deserved. She wasn’t sitting in a circle talking to her other attachment disorder mommies, she was posting for the world to see and discuss.
Great playscape – I’m a big sister to a 1st grader and being so short I can play on the playscape with him. It’s Awesome!

susie
14 years ago

We have that space-age playground equipment in our town, too! Awesome.

I love it when you post pictures of JB jumping. And you really do have great teeth, Linda.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
14 years ago

That was the best post EVER!

What a great playground, I would have totally stopped for that one too.

Also JB’s jumping skills, awesome.

Nell
Nell
14 years ago

I am a stalker of your blog – no idea how I found it but absolutely feel no shame about stalking strangers b/c your writing is AMAZING. You are always so personal about your struggles and triumph’s. Life just plain old isn’t easy and kids are certainly not!! Then you add in husband, in-laws, work, etc and wow there are just times it would be easier to crawl under the bed – if only there weren’t so many dust bunnies.
I just want to be encouraging – your writing is fantastic and the crying it out thing is so far from abuse it makes me insane to even think about it.
Anywhooooo, you’re doing a great job and keep the stuff coming! It’s my daily diversion and always proves to be worth it!!
Nell

beach
beach
14 years ago

fun family you guys are….missed the craziness that was going on….crying it out is child abuse….omg…..some people are true f^%$# nutjobs…..they will eventually be the types that can never say no to their kids…..and eventually will have the spoiled ,self indulged “cuties”that noone can stand to be around….ugh, sorry to bring that all up….but I just read it….and some things just make me go…WTF…hang tough Linda….you and JB are doing fab!

warcrygirl
14 years ago

Leaping, farting, staticy-hair and shoe induced truffle pig snorts. This is the best post evah!

Kari
Kari
14 years ago

I am all about deserted playgrounds too! There is nothing worse than a playground bully that won’t let your kids do what they want while Mommy Dearest is ignoring her kids so she can talk to her friends instead of watching her spawn. Gah.

Did JB skateboard when he was a kid? His poses as he jumps are so…I dunno – skateboardish.

Lori
14 years ago

That looks like so much fun!! Dylan’s expression watching JB jump is hilarious.

I often think “LOOK at THAT playground” when I see a particularly cool one. I don’t stop though, what with not having kids and all… It’s a little TOO weird for a 37 year old childless woman to be hanging on the monkey bars. Alone. In a deserted playground…

Jenny
14 years ago

“snorfle”… HA! What a great word. And what a pretty day in the PNW… makes me jealous! It’s threatening snow already in NE Ohio.

Debs3
Debs3
14 years ago

That playground looked like so much fun I wanted to round up my teenagers and go play again. Actually, I think I will. Thanks for the idea!

Asheo
Asheo
14 years ago

NancyJak – “attachment disorder mommies”… that’s a bit much don’t you think?
Breastfeeding, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, baby wearing, not resorting to CIO… not sure why you’d consider that a disorder.

sara moon
sara moon
14 years ago

laughing with tears!!!!!!!!!! you are so funny, linda. i do so love you.

Erin
14 years ago

Looks awesome. I love the action photos.

Also: LOVE YOUR SHOES.

Joanne
14 years ago

I hope that shit doesn’t bother you because really – why would it be anyone’s business how you raise/sleep train/let cry your children? What the hell, world?

We have a similar playground right by our house and I really love it. Unfortunately it’s near a school where it always appears to be recess time so we’ve had some sharing issues so I understand what you mean about wanting it to be empty!

Ha – I laughed so hard about the pinky nail/ other person’s nose comment. I was cutting my nails the other night and left the pinky nails kind of longer expressly because I need to get in my baby girl’s nose sometimes. I told my husband it’s like a coke nail, but different. :)

js
js
14 years ago

Awesome playground! And I love it when they are empty too. Then I don’t feel like such a tool when I play! For what it’s worth (which really isn’t much), the people that were giving you grief over your blog have issues (I know Chris from Rude Cactus mentioned issues about this today). I find your voice refreshing. Even when you are ranting about the kids, your love for them is still obvious. It makes me feel better about my less than perfect parenting moments. Makes me feel like I’m not alone in the moments where I think, “OMG, am going to HURT SOMEONE!” Keep it up!

Kaire
Kaire
14 years ago

I read the posts, the comments, and once again am thankful I have cats. The one is fat, so I’m sure PETA will be on my ass in no time.

My mom was a sahm. She readily admits she was more interested in keeping her house clean than playing with me. She defends her good mother status with “but I was always there when you came home from school.” Yes, and even then what mattered is that I didn’t make a mess and I clean up any imagined one.

Linda, I wish my mom gave 1/1000000000 of the love you give your boys. Dear lord, your boys might READ your blog, see how they are loved, and see a zillion wonderful pictures of their lives! (sarcasm and all!)

I have no baby pictures, they weren’t taken. No baby book. No stories of when I was little and the cute/funny things I did.

I was raised by a judgemental, selfish, self absorbed mother. I’ve spent all my life trying to be everything she isn’t.

alison
alison
14 years ago

Oooh, can you please share where this playground is? We live really close to Grasslawn Park, where they put in a crazyass new playground this summer, but unless i go at 7am it’s generally packed. Would love to find a less frequented place. You can give me time constraints so we don’t interfere with your personal monkeybar time :)

Jenny
14 years ago

Ohhh, I have playground envy!

Here’s a website I use to find good playgrounds in my area:

http://playspacefinder.kaboom.org/

mel from australia
mel from australia
14 years ago

i love the playgrounds too, cant wait til the little one is old enough, but we’ll have to find some that aren’t littered with syringes, bottles, ciggie butts, general filth and scary freaky people to enjoy!

Zoot
14 years ago

I am SUCH a playground junkie. I have the various ones around town locally ranked in terms of Awesomeness based on various qualities. My favorite though, is always the most crowded, so we don’t go there often because I WANT TO PLAY TOO.

Great snaps!

Melissa
Melissa
14 years ago

Laughing my ass off at the gunshot fart comment! In total agreement about playground criteria…esp when it’s deserted. I love the pic of JB jumping over the slide. Dylan looks so cute smiling underneath him. You guys look like a lot of fun! P.S. Today is a new day! Yesterday is done. :)

Heather
14 years ago

It looks like you guys had a blast. I love all of the action shots :)

Josie
14 years ago

that playground looks a lot like the one that is right below Kerry park (The View) in Queen Anne. Also frequently deserted enough for my husband and I to have obstacle course races. Ahem.