Thursday, 15 September 2016

Grounders--I don't get it!

Parents, do your kids come home talking about 'Grounders'? Mine do. Wtf? I first heard the term 'Grounders' about 8 years ago when I was working in a daycare. I had come to pick up some kids at an elementary school and, when I asked what they were playing, they gave me the rundown... According to them, 'Grounders' was a tag game played on playground equipment, and the person who was 'It' had to close their eyes while trying to tag other people also on the playground equipment. Anyone on the ground was 'T' (formerly 'time-out,' apparently this phrase has negative connotations for the wuss- generation) and couldn't be tagged. My first thought was 'Awww! Kids are so stupid!' and my second thought, naïve as I was, was that Grounders was just a flavour week and they would move onto something else next week. Well, stupid me, they did persist in playing it quite regularly until the end of that school year at which point I went on mat leave and largely forgot all about it.

Grounders continued to pop into my awareness over the years--I'd overhear it on the playground or a neighbor kid would mention it--and eventually I accepted it was actually a 'thing.' I went on the assumption that the kids on the playground had relayed the rules incorrectly or that I'd remembered incorrectly until one day a few months ago...

Me: Hey Bud! What did you do at recess today?
Him: Played Grounders.
Me: Hmmm. Grounders? How do you play that?
Him: Well, it's like tag and the person who is 'It' has to close their eyes and try to tag people on the playground equipment. But if you're touching the ground, you're T.
Me: Huh.

Part of me is a big fan of logic. And that part of me, just really wants to say...
Kids, I take issue with your stupid Grounders game. You've heard the phrase, “The blind leading the blind...” No? Whatever. Surely this is a case of 'the blind chasing the way-fucking-faster,' because, seriously, I just had a go with this whole running-around-with-my-eyes-closed thing and, I'm not going to lie, I've had more graceful walks home from the bar at 2AM. Respectfully I ask, how (the fuck) is someone with their eyes closed supposed to chase a seeing target down on a play structure? Seriously, you guys have had some stupid-ass ideas over the years, but running with your eyes closed on a play structure makes the top-five. As far as I can tell, kids, this game leaves you only two choices...Cheat or endanger yourself by actually running around with your eyes closed. Can you spell STUPID? Actually there is a third choice, and let me tell you, if adults played this game this is totally what they would do...You can sit your ass down on the grass, declare yourself 'T,' drink a glass of something fruity, and watch sir-it-alot stumble around blindly on the equipment. Score! …
...but, I'm a classy mom and, as such, I have kept those words to myself for the time being. However, I did decide to pay a little extra attention the next time I was on the playground. Sure enough, the kids were playing Grounders, and, as predicted, the sad little kid who was 'It' squinted shamelessly through her half-closed eyes while chasing the other kids around. Stupid.
So here I sit, blogging angrily about my pointless little gripe, and remembering how when I was kid I used to look at adults sitting (literally and metaphorically) at the sides of some AWESOME game I was playing and vow that I would never be so STUPID and grumpy as them.

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