Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Return to Innocence

It's hard work, jumping in an inflatable bouncy castle.

Our neighbor's kid turned five this past weekend, and they rented one of those primary-colored monstrosities and invited a bunch of other kids over for bouncing, yelling, cake-eating, and other fun things for five-year-olds to do. (Thankfully, they warned us ahead of time so we could prepare ourselves). Somehow, I managed to take a nap (hallelujah! a nap! one of my most favorite things) through the bulk of Sunday afternoon's shenanigans, and when I woke up, the thump-whoosh of the bouncy castle and the screams and general kid noise had diminished significantly.

"Have you bounced in one of those?" I asked Hulk (or he asked me) and some small amount of reminiscing occured. "I bet those kids are having a great time," we said. I kind of wondered what the weight limit was for one of those castles and decided it was probably 50 pounds or so. And I weigh at LEAST twice that much. (And Hulk, being a hulk, weighs, um, more than that).

Hulk made homemade pasta and homemade pasta sauce (with tomatoes, herbs, peppers etc. from our garden) Sunday afternoon and evening. As the pasta was drying before being wrung through the cutting machine, we ventured into the backyard and waved to the neighbors, who were barbecuing in the aftermath of the Five-Year-Old Invasion.

"Do you want to jump in the castle?" they asked. "We have it until tomorrow afternoon." Hulk and I looked at each other and wordlessly decided it was worth a shot. "We figured it had a weight limit," I said, and they said that the neighbor from the other side had been in there with his kids and as far as they knew, it was safe for adults.

We totally bounced in the bouncy castle after wriggling through the tiny opening in the netting above the inflated step-up part. I bounced, Hulk bounced, we bounced together and separately and he bounced close to me so I would bounce higher. Wow, was it fun! After only about 5 or 10 minutes we were both out of breath and a bit worried about the state of our creaky old joints. We wriggled back out of the tiny opening and thanked the neighbors. My hair had fallen out of its ponytail and I was all sweaty and Hulk was a bit pink. "We don't understand how the kids can play in that thing for hours," the neighbors said. "They can just jump all day long."

I'm in pretty good shape, but 10 more minutes and I would have had a heart attack. Maybe there's a reason it's only kids you usually see bouncing in those castles. It sure was fun, though.

This was our weekend for kid things, I guess, because on Saturday I made a cake with a "childhood" theme for a friend's birthday party (covered with teddy grahms, gummy bears, red vine bits and crayon candles) and then we all went ice skating.

I have not been ice skating in 10 years (the last time was early in my relationship with College Boyfriend). We skated at a rink that's mostly for hockey-type activities, so it was smaller than I remembered a skating rink to be. I started out on figure skates but switched halfway through to hockey skates, and my feet were much happier (room for the toes, always good). Hulk was a good sport and, despite only skating twice before EVER, managed to skate around the rink a few times hardly touching the wall at all before his ankle complained. I attempted some speed and some backwards skating (both relatively unsuccessful. I'm a big pussy about falling on ice). And nobody in our group fell down once, so that was pretty good.

What with the laser tag adventure, the ice skating, and the bouncy castle, I'd say we're reverting to childhood, except now we can stay up as late as we want, eat as much junk as we want, and drink booze. Sometimes I wish I were a kid again, but mostly I'm glad to be able to do whatever I want. But after this weekend, I'm reminded how playing feels good - I think we should all play a lot more. Why not?


Yank In Texas said...

I loved those bouncy things as a kid. All that fun! And the flips!
childhood games are fun- even more fun now that you can add booze to them! (Seriously- drunk board games? Oh so fun.)
One of the boy's co-workers wants to rent a roller skating rink for her birthday. I say right-on!
Shoot the duck!

EEK! said...

Bouncy castle! JEALOUS!