Oct 12

The Bouncer

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When it comes to the joy of a child, I’ve always thought that the bigger the bounce house the better.  And I was proven correct. But this is true to a dangerous degree.  I believe the math problem goes like this:  A child’s chaotic energy increases in direct proportion to the increase in bounce house square footage.  Small bounce house equals high energy fun.  Enormous bounce house equals cracked out insanity.

The reason I rented the farm bouncer for Alistair’s birthday party was that it had an appeal to someone Alistair’s age and it would also be fun for Noble and his friends.  Huge mistake on my part.  This amazing bouncer, which measured around 21 feet by 21 feet, was filled with all kinds of “fun”.  Fun, in this case, meaning a plague of blind spots.

From this angle, I count 4 blind spots, or more appropriate - head on collision potentials.

Here’s some dumb advice that a child in the above bounce house can’t understand: “Hey, make sure you watch out for other kids!” or “Pay attention to your surroundings!” I would submit that a child in the above bouncer has so many “fun” neurons firing that any concept of being careful is completely drowned out by the pure ecstasy of running, full tilt, into random parts of the structure.  Did I say run? Yes, I did.  It may be called a “bouncer”, but make no mistake, this just makes for increasing your child’s land speed. It’s a run and smash house!

On the plus side of things, I did invent a new drinking game! It’s pretty simple, but requires that you have a child inside the bouncer at the time of playing.  Because this bouncer was so intense, pretty much every 5 minutes you would hear a child screaming tears.  And because it was so frequent, it would be fun if every time a child cries, you drink.  If it’s YOUR kid crying, you drink twice.  It’s guaranteed to get you messed up.  The logistics are a bit spotty, as I would prefer not to have a bunch of drunk people at my house, with their kids running amuck. But the game is a work in progress.

Hindsight, I would have never gotten the bouncer.  There’s such a thing as too much fun. Sometimes a bouncer has neat features that you think a child would love. Look at the joy on these two:

Alistair getting bounced around by Talen. There is surely a 4 year old only moments away from barreling into Talen. Or vice versa.

But you should never underestimate their ability to figure out a more dangerous way to play on it. Case in point:

This was only the beginning...

So lesson learned.  Things do change, though, because I still have a direct connection to my inner 4 year old.  Noble and I bounced in that thing by ourselves for a little bit and it was pretty damn fun.  We also leafed through the catalog, and they have some, as Noble would say, “evener huger ones!” We shall see.

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