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I HATE Playgrounds But I'd LOVE A Kid's Creation Playground

I HATE playgrounds primarily because growing up in Chicago at my parents' house I had a backyard with six trees and a deck that could hold about eight people. All I had to do was walk out of my house and I could play tether ball (yes, tether ball), run soccer drills using the trees as defenders on the opposing team, sprint back and forth up and down the length of the yard, play T-ball with a wiffle ball so it didn't go into anyone else's yard. I even had a badminton net strung up between two trees. I'm not that upset that I sucked at badminton. I didn't need a park --- a place we went to for barbecues or some kid's birthday party and the playground was where I went for recess during the week when I was in school. Taking my kids to the park/playground for them to play and stretch their legs is a constant reminder that I live in a temporary dwelling, don't have the space for them to just walk out of their door to go play on their land, and as a middle-class New Yorker, I'm currently priced out of anything suitable for my family. But they're kids. Thankfully, they don't care one way or another. For now.

Problem Number 2: During the week, playgrounds are run by mothers and nannies. Often on my days off and on days when I get home early from work I take my girl to one of a few playgrounds in the area to run off some of her steam. When I enter the playground I'm on display in one of two ways: I'm looked at like the Catch of the Day and 9 times out of 10 I have no desire to be at the end of any of these admirers' fishing lines; or I'm viewed with disdain by the women who've claimed a public, asphalted patch of earth (or mulch or athletic turf) with dirty swings and slides as their territory. Why are you here? Their looks say. Don't you have a job? Where is your wife? (I always make sure to wear my ring when I'm there) Is that even your daughter? (Several shades of complexion separate us, but she looks just like me and calls me, "Daddy" every chance she gets, so yes, she is) I think I make things worse when I run around with babygirl, hoist her on my shoulders so she can ride piggyback, play follow the leader and toss her 35-pound frame high into the air above my head and catch her easily. I don't just tell her to go play, I play with her. Please don't be jealous. Yes, ladies, I have a relationship with my daughter (and my son) that involves more than simply picking her up from daycare or slotting out some time for her on the weekends.

What would solve my dilemma would be to be able to give my kids what I had and that much more. With a high credit score and money in the bank buying a house is just a matter of finding the right one for the right price in the right city/state (a completely overwhelming, arduous and sometimes infuriating process). But it is happening this year. But giving my daughter and whatever little friends she'll accumulate over time, the means to have a ball in her (my) backyard? That would be a dream come true. A Kid's Creation Three Ring Adventure Playground Set would be the manifestation of this dream. Made of quality, real materials, this is something you can put in your backyard that will stand the test of time, the elements and a gaggle of destructive children. My buddies over at Dad-Blogs.com have worked hard to make this possible for one lucky mom and/or dad. I hope I end up being the one. This way my kids can have what I did and that much more. Then, I'll be able to check one more thing off my I-Am-A-Half-Decent-Father-After-All list. And as a handy person I'd enjoy the challenge of putting it all together and refusing everyone's help.

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