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Dizzy and Deflated

So, they’ve been constructing this monster of a city park not too far from where we live. They started early this year, and Noah and I have had a lot of fun driving by it every day to see what new and magic developments are taking place.

After each pass, we’ve talked about how drastically this new park is going to increase the fun factor in our lives. We’ve counted down the days to when we’ll get to go crazy on the futuristic playground equipment or run through the splash pad together. We’ve made plans for our first Tour de France around the bike trail. We’ve waited with gathered breath for them to install the basketball standards, and we’ve spent many conversations daydreaming about the moments we’ll share learning to dribble and shoot together.

Opening day was approaching, and in anticipation, Noah and I went to Walmart and splurged on a youth-size basketball. It wasn’t fully inflated, so we bought a little three-dollar pump to go with it.

Bedtime was no easy task for us the night before our first day together at the mega-park. Long after his peepers should have been sealed shut, Noah kept surfacing with a half-grin spread across his face, asking to use the potty or get a drink. After several rounds, I finally let him take his new basketball to bed, which kept him occupied long enough to slip away from the anxiety that was forbidding him to sleep.

The next day, we threw the ball, the pump, and us two giddy boys into the truck, then headed for the park. I asked Noah what he wanted to do first. His immediate answer was “basketball”.

So, we opened the pump, inserted the needle, and started pumping.

Almost immediately, the needle broke in two, and the ball hissed a horrible sound as all useful air escaped. The ball wasn’t the only thing that the moment deflated. Noah and I looked in disbelief at our dreams being flattened before our eyes. I pried the second half of the needle out and palmed the mushy basketball. Noah was irked. So was dad.

We went and attempted to shoot some hoops together, but the magic quickly fleeted as each shot was followed by a plop. “What do you want to do, Pal?” I asked him. He quickly suggested we go try the playground instead.

How quickly I found myself wishing for sweet death to come take me.

The futuristic playground equipment, was nothing but a crazy menagerie of puke machines. Giant cups that you sit in and spin fast enough to break the sound barrier. Large plastic rings that lift you and drop you as they spin. Standing posts that you stand on (go figure), and when you lean just the right way, they spin crazily and with almost no effort. And… about twelve billion other spinny, horrible things.

Did I mention they all spin?

My personal participation time was less than six seconds total, and that was enough to make me nauseated the rest of the week. I felt like a monkey had been gnawing on my brain. My head still hasn’t made a full come back.

Noah took it on like a champion. He was able to set aside his frustration over the basketball and instead focus on his new found love for discombobulation. He played for more than ninety minutes, proving his “bigness” by spinning on everything. Again. And again. And again. How do kids do that? Oooooh… I’m sorry. I can’t keep talking about this. Even writing about it is making me sick.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing.

PS, is it normal for me to get sick and dizzy so easily? Is it just my age? Or am I turning into Lucille 2 from Arrested Development?

What do your kids love to do that leaves you groaning at the thought?

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106 comments
Jess the Mess
Jess the Mess

I took My Daughter to our local show (Carnival) and they had my favourite ride as a kid the Gee whizzer so I thought we should have a go together...OMG I hated every second of it I wanted to Barf!!! it was to fast and waaaay too spinny!!!! yeah I know thats not exactly a word but thats exactly what it was NEVER AGAIN!!!!!

Shana Hatch
Shana Hatch

I'm SO with you! I take my kids to Lagoon at least twice a year.... it's a tradition. I have never had a problem with ANY of the rides until this last summer. I can honestly say after 2 rides I was done for the day. I'm hoping we can replace that tradtion with something else this next summer.

Jessica McDonald Thornton
Jessica McDonald Thornton

I'm with you. Give me a roller coaster any day of the week, but put me on the Teacup ride at Disneyland and it is all over. I have never been able to do spinny. Ugh!

Mary-Jo Kerish Turner
Mary-Jo Kerish Turner

UGH...I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. My daughter is a gymnast..power tumbling and trampoline. She can down 3 hot dogs buns and all, drink a quart of water and then go and bounce and flip for 3 hours non stop. Then again, I used to down a liter of diet coke and a bag of that smart food white cheddar popcorn before every track meet when I was in high school

theginabean
theginabean

I'm dizzy at the very thought of all those spinny toys. Gah. I've never been big into spinning (Gina vs the merry-go-round, years ago, was no contest. The merry-go-round won, and I haven't been back on one since the wee age of...I don't even know...four or five maybe?

Having said that, I'm pretty sure it's gotten worse as I get older (and I'm not old yet!). I grew up in Northern Utah, and Lagoon was a happy part of my youth--we'd all pile into the van and go there once each summer for Lagoon Day for my dad's work. My favorite was The Colossus. Fast forward several years (pretty sure I was 20 at the time)--it's my dad's work Lagoon Day again, and this time, only my dad and I could go, which was fun (hello, daddy-daughter date!). We got there early enough to avoid horrendous lines at the best rides (hello, "Rocket"--both take-off and re-entry are stellar!), then we hit all the rides I remembered loving growing up--including, of course, The Colossus. I very nearly vomited after exiting that ride. Dad was fine. We spent the rest of our time miniature golfing, on the sky ride, and sipping cold, carbonated beverages. I'll never set foot in Lagoon again.

Having said THAT...I'm headed to Disneyland in about a month, and I couldn't be more excited! (It really is the happiest, most magical place on earth! And it's so much more than an amusement park, you know! And it's so CLEAN!)

PS I laughed out loud at your Lucille 2 remark. I'm going to have to put in some Arrested Development one of these days...it's been too long!

JenniferSullijen
JenniferSullijen

I think that the new set of spinny toys that are ALL the rage recently are a step down from the "dangers" of teeter-totters, slides, and the other old-school toys. Again, and in yet another setting, they're teaching our children to be STILL, and to enjoy the messed-up confusion and natural high that spinning provides. Really, all that spinning produces the kinds of drugs in their little heads that the big pharmaceutical companies will be more than happy to provide as they get older. I am absolutely, non-scientifically POSITIVE that little brains do not need to be slammed against the inside of their skulls, and smushed to one side or the other of their little brain-pans. I think all this spinning is just another way for younger and younger kids to chase after a legal high, and alter their poor little brain-waves. What happened to actual exercise, running, jumping, climbing, sliding, PLAYING on a playground???

All this being said, I love to spin, and although I hope there will be yet another new wave of fashionable playground toys SOON, I'm gonna go ahead to the park and push my little one on the swing for a while, then spin my silly little addled head off. I'm glad she's not into spinning as much as I am...then again, maybe that's because I recognize that dizzy-high from somewhere, and she just hasn't had the chance to get to know it...yet.

TinaWaldher
TinaWaldher

We have a "spinny park" close to us - my kids love it! It's a great place to let them be silly and burn off energy.

derekatesmom
derekatesmom

We were in a park while travelling that had one of the same ones shown in the picture. It upset my 6 year old so much, he had never sat in something like it before, I tried it out to show him it was harmless and fell out.
not so harmless.

Ms. MM
Ms. MM

Are you kidding me? I LUUUV spinny things! It could be because I'm fourteen. But spinny things are soooo much fun...

Last summer at the fair my friend talked me into going on the big scary rides. I went on one and was totally hooked for the rest of the day. And month. And year.

erika
erika

Maybe we spin more as children and get accustomed to it? Perhaps you need a few dozen more trips to the playground to get you used to spinning again. :) My oldest (she's 6) loves to crawl all over the floor pretending she's a dinosaur or a lion or some scary animal. She does this on tile, on carpet, on cement, anywhere. It doesn't affect me any, but it drives me crazy because her knees are bumpy and rough, and I swear her skin is going to slough off and who knows what it will reveal underneath. I just look at her doing it and cringe, kind of like how people get the heebie jeebies when someone runs their nails along a chalkboard.

Pam
Pam

Ugh spinning is awful! It is age.....

K.K.
K.K.

Haha, I'm 30, and I still sometimes spin until I fall down! I love spinning, and always have :)

Jennifer
Jennifer

Oh yes, the dreadful playground spinny things. They really should come with a warning. I took my two boys, 3 and 18m, to the "new and super awesome" playground the other day. Lliam, my oldest, was so excited. Of course they had this really cool equipment that looked like a seat with an oval around it. As Lliam played on the climbing wall I figured this was the perfect place to sit and relax with Luke. Little did I know that as soon as my butt hit the seat that evil contraption started to spin. I tried desperatly to put my feet down but my son Lliam decided to stand near and watch us go around and around.

Brenna
Brenna

Dan, you just have to wait. It's only a matter of time before people start complaining because their kid threw up on all the spinny toys, after having had a massively huge portion of a picnic lunch, or too much bubbly soda on the stomach. Then they'll start removing the spinny toys and put in some better, more old school playground equipment. (Though I do miss the merry-go-round spinny toy of long ago . . . )

I think kids like spinning for the dizzy effect. When I was little, my sisters and I would spin and spin and spin and spin and spin until we were good and dizzy (meaning we were too dizzy to spin even just one turn before falling down), and then tried to walk straight. It was really fun - and funny. Until one fateful holiday season, one of us nudged the Christmas tree and some ornaments broke; then the game was banned. It was sad . . . I think more than I missed the dizzy walking game, I missed the sight of the Christmas lights blurring into a single line because I was spinning so fast. Shortly after that, I got so dizzy I threw up, and haven't particularly cared for spinning ever since.

Debs
Debs

I get dizzy and nauseous once I've been on a swing for a minute or two, which sucks because I love to swing. It's something I've noticed in the past few years (I'm 28). You're not alone, Dan!

Rosemary
Rosemary

OMG! A fellow Arrested Development fan!! ROFL on turning into Lucille 2!!! I can barely ride an elevator, never mind an amusement park ride or, heaven forbid, SPINNY things. I think you are just fine Dan! THANK you for a MUCH needed laugh!! & NINETY minutes of FUN for NOAH! Next time, bring a book or your laptop-it will be a win-win!!

~JJ~
~JJ~

I used to be a big fan of spinning-in my younger, childless days. The older I've gotten, the more vertigo sets in if I even watch a merry-go-round going around. I have the same problem with going to 3D movies. However, if you plan to make this fabulous new dizzy factory a hotspot for father/son fun, there is a simple remedy that works great. You can get Dramamine from walmart (pick it up when you get the new basketball pump) for very effective relief of the symptoms, but beware-it can cause drowsiness (even the "less-drowsy version is not much better about keeping fatigue and bay). Or you can get Bronine (http://www.bonine.com/)" target="_blank"> " target="_blank">(http://www.bonine.com/) over the counter at a drug store or natural grocers for a non-drowsy option that works all day. Some studies also show that ginger helps with motion sickness, as well. Have fun!!

Tracie
Tracie

I am feeling slightly nauseous just reading about all that spinning.

A park isn't a park without a swingset!

Rebekah C.
Rebekah C.

HAHAHA! Go figure, kids, lol. I used to love to sin. Now by degrees only.

Arrested Development was a hilarious show.

Shannon
Shannon

Aww...my child has missed ice skating, roller coasters, and sledding because of Mommy's awful equilibrium. Don't feel bad.

abbyhigley
abbyhigley

Magic sand....I HATE that stuff. gets everywhere!! And I've never personally done very well with the spinny machines.

DestinMarler
DestinMarler

Deep Sea Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

I love it. The more waves the better.

My son is petrified.

LeMira
LeMira

This made me laugh. These kinds of parks are my kids favorites, unless there are swings around of course! Seriously, I can't stand to even watch him spin. . . ugh.

saffronrose
saffronrose

I also get very easily nauseated, as does my son. When he was younger and we were living in Santa Cruz, he would want to go to The Boardwalk. Only the Carousel held any attraction for me. There were no seats for parents who waited. So I wsn't too keen on that.

It's the dumbed-down movies, or the stupid-to-adults/kids' movies that I dread.

K Jones
K Jones

Hmmm..... I loved rollar coasters and all things gooey until I had my kids. Now just going backwards on the swing and tilting a little bit down makes me want to hurl.

Are you sure you aren't pregnant? :oP

josie
josie

i get sick while jumping on the trampoline with the kids. poor things. i dont get how they jump for hours! my role is now just popcicle vendor to them while they jump.

Jennifer
Jennifer

WOW...i'd like to see that park, i know my kids would!! They love all things spinning too!! It must be a totally kid thought out park to have so many spinning contraptions!! LOL!...I think i have seen one of those "spinning cups" that you sit into...first time my daughter tried to climb into the thing on her knees and it turned and dumped her on her head! OUCH!! Learned best to SIT in on the butt and not on the knees! LOL!...but boy did that thing take off on its own!! No need for mom to push and push to keep the momentum going...her weight alone spinned and furocious speeds! WOW...i know it would be fun as a kid but i don't know if i could stomach it as an adult anymore ;)

A.D.
A.D.

I have never liked spinning... I've tried to go on rides at fairs, but they ended up stopping it about 15 seconds in because I was crying and screaming (not a pretty scene from a 16-year-old), so I've given up now. Even swings and hammocks, I can only use them for a few minutes before getting dizzy...

maidenfine
maidenfine

After getting BPPV (vertigo that comes and goes randomly without much input from me), I get dizzy if my husband turns a corner too fast. Which sucks, because all of my favorite theme park rides have always been the spinning ones. And I can't do the thing where you hold your kid and spin them around. Or participate in the spinning in the office chair game when we go to get copies made.

Esther
Esther

It's the love for all things scientific/entertia when kids are growing up. First it's "let see how this falls" from the high chair.-Hence,your messy floor and a parent who is almost out of thier mind with "why are you doing that?" Then it's swinging on the swing set,and jumping rope. It's a love affair with all things inertia oriented,and includs trains,bikes,balls and rollercoaters. A child's love affair with how things work.

I still have mine..and endulged in it at every waking moment when I was young enough to. Learning about science in a fun sort of way that makes a child love living more! And puts a bit more skip in the step. Well...that was me anyways. Now I am too sick. But..on well days..I still enjoy a good spin!

Kylie
Kylie

Thank you for the Arrested Development reference, that is one of the best shows ever! I'm glad Noah had fun in spite of the basketball problems.

Becky
Becky

Reading you post and seeing the picture made my head spin. Ugh!

sarah5263
sarah5263

Thankfully for me, at 21 I still haven't lost the love for spinning! There is a similar playground near my home, and me and all of my supposed-to-be-grown -up friends love to go spin and twirl until we can't stand up. I think we have more fun than the little kids (who stand there and look at us like we're nuts while we wait for a turn). It's waaay more fun than the grow-up things people tell you are so great.

Mamaof2
Mamaof2

I hear that as you get older your inner ear fluid gets thicker. I loved roller coasters and everything when I was a kiddo. Now just the swings on a swing set make me woozy. ;)

Kristin
Kristin

"Discombobulation" is my favorite word. I adore how it sounds just like what it is!

Meagan Pinales
Meagan Pinales

I. LOVE. TO. SPIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some of the few memeories of my childhood are of me spinning around our living room, or winding my swing up at school. *Sigh* The good ol'days.

Heather
Heather

Too funny! As an adult, things like the rotor, swings and the witch's wheel that I loved as a child make me want to vomit as an adult. Such a shame! I do still love a merry go round on a playground, thouhg!

Laura
Laura

Very funny. My kids are older now and past the "spinny toy" phase, but my 16 year old son likes really sour candy, hot pockets, Monster energy drinks, and the Jackass movies.... all of which make me nauseous. ;-)

Lisa
Lisa

My two boys are 12 and 13 and they LOVE things that spin too! I'm getting better at it the more I do it. And this may be why adults feel sick when they spin or hang upside down...Because we DON"T do it often enough. We need to train ourselves to be able to do these things again. The balance part of the inner ear workings become complacent if not used enough. My mother's Dr actually recommended she try doing a few sommersaults to combat the intense vertigo she gets. I know that the more I play with my kids this way, the longer I'm able to do it...I'm up to about 90 seconds on the "puke cup" and aiming for 120! Have fun and keep laughing!

Synesthesia
Synesthesia

Playing 3 d video games makes me motion sick. Nothing else does. It's weird
Though I hate spinny droppy sort of things that spin and drop you suddenly.

Cara
Cara

I totally miss teeter totters! You are such a great dad!

langela2
langela2

My head is starting to hurt after just reading about it. We live in the country so no playground for our kids. They do have tire swings, though. Tire swings can be spun around, swung back and forth on, swung double-decker on, ridden like a horse, used as a Trazan vine, and used to catch rain water that can be turned into mud pies and "chocolate milk." Who needs a playground when you have tire swings?

I hate playing board games with my kids. I do it sometimes, but I just hate it! I just don't have what it takes to sit there and play mindless child games. I can go outside and throw a frisbee or color or do crafts or go on a walk or have a campfire or fish, but I detest board games.

Erica
Erica

(Part 2 of 2)
When we went to Disney World a few years after that I was worried...but really wanted to go! I took Dramamine every day and...lo and behold I was totally fine! Very bizarre.

But still, despite the Disney World exception, MANY things can make me dizzy and naseous! As someone else said sometimes watching a movie or TV show using certain camera techniques require me to close my eyes until they're done.

Sucks to get older! LOL

Erica L.
Erica L.

(Part 1 of 2)
Ugh I've been getting more and more dizzy the more comments I've read! LOL

I used to spin a lot and loved it. I would go on swings. I would go on the Sit 'n' Spin my mom had for her daycare kids to show off how fast I could go. I loved rides at the fair especially this one (I can never remember what it's called) that's a pirate ship that swings. I also loved the Gravatron (sp?).

Then I hit my 20s. I could no longer swing for a long period of time. Forget the Sit 'n' Spin. And that pirate ship? Ugh naseous after a couple minutes. Have never had the guts to try the Gravatron again. I went to Six Flags with a friend several years ago and even though I took Dramamine almost every ride made me naseous! She had to go on some of the roller coasters alone because I just couldn't.

april
april

You're a good dad Dan, I'm very proud of you and happy for Noah. =)

freemom
freemom

Haven't been on a ride in years, but when they do the front seat shot of going down a roller-coaster (like in Polar Express), the sickness washes over me. But then, I'm really, really, really old.

Valerie
Valerie

I used to love to spin, even into my 20s, but now I get dizzy so quickly. It doesn't make me sick, but it doesn't exactly make me feel good. We're old Dan!

niki
niki

omg, i love your posts but i'm over the moon at the AD reference!

Jennifer
Jennifer

For fear of kicking Lliam I just closed my eyes and spun. Needless to say Luke couldn't handle the spinning and vomited on me. Fun fun. After finally getting off and trying to collect myself, this kind gentlemen decided to impart his wisdom on me. He proceeds to explain to me that this devil machine is powered by your body weight. Uh huh. So the more body weight the faster and longer you go. Uh huh. So you see, Ma'am it isn't meant for adults. Hold up. I just had my brain fly out my ear, my kid puked on me and you have the nerve to call me fat. I simply smiled and left. I have replaced bar hoping with playground drama. Sadly the end result is the same. Can't walk straight, smell funny, and someone has to say something ugly.