Anatomy of a Mall Playground


So somewhere in the mess that is my unorganized folder and file structure on my desktop computer, I have a post that was half-finished that went along with the title you see above.


I started jotting down ideas for this post a long time ago, even before I started this blog and was keeping them because I knew somehow, somewhen, I would write it out and it would be EPIC. It would be a freaking EPIPHANY to hundreds of people. It would tie together people who had no children and who only looked with distaste at the mall playground to those of us who are parents and have to deal with the freaking rumpus because to a kid, that’s what the mall is all about. To a kid, THAT’S THE ONLY REASON WE GO TO THE MALL. What person in their RIGHT MIND wants to look at shoes and t-shirts when you could be jumping off a grossly over-sized baseball made of foam and covered in vinyl?



I’ve obviously spent a lot of time there, allowing my kiddo to wear himself out when he’s feeling particularly “balls-to-the-wall” -ish. And I’ve noticed that there are distinct personality types when it comes to young children interacting in a playground environment. Depending on country or region, your results may be different than my own observations, but this is what I’ve come up with.

~ Kid with a thousand silly bands on his arms

~ Kid with candy/soda/lollipops/etc who is valiantly defending his sugar from the rest of the kids

~ Overly-aggressive kid making machine gun and explosion noises at EVERYTHING

~ Kid running in perpetual circles

~ The girl mothering all the younger kids by picking them up and carrying them around so that they play where she wants them to but then gets upset when they run off again

~ Kid that is so sticky from melted candy (see entry #2) that she sounds like velcro when any part of her body disconnects from the carpeting

~ The 3 – 14 kids who are screaming simultaneously into each others faces at the top of their lungs

~ The barely-walking toddler who seems to have a force field around him that allows every other kid to run past or around him at breakneck speed without ACTUALLY touching him or knocking him over

I feel like this post is fairly anti-climactic, but that’s really all I’ve got. Do you have any other insane kid types that you’ve run into?

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3 Responses to Anatomy of a Mall Playground

  1. Tom says:

    There’s a kid in my missus’s Kickboxing class (she teaches) who has a thousand yard stare. Full on ‘Nam-style looks right through everything like he’s seen some seriously disturbing stuff.

    Love the force-field kid- so true of many toddlers battling the laws of physics and averages to stay upright and weeble along…

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  2. Acadia says:

    you write your posts ahead of time?


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  3. Sean says:

    What I always find more interesting than the kids at these places are the parents. Now, obviously, you and I have both taken our children there, so the parents aren’t all bad, but oh the humanity! I don’t think you need to walk behind your child the whole time to determine his or her every move, but if your kid is there playing, you probably shouldn’t be sitting at the far end of the area, painting your toenails with your flip-flops on and talking (in your “I’m alone at home” voice) on your rhinestone encrusted Razor cell phone, all while your child terrorizes the place. Maybe I’m just nuts.

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