We bought a trampoline

Last summer we visited relatives in Vancouver who are proud owners of a trampoline and two dogs. After watching our kids spend hours jumping on the tramp, and walking and petting the pups — and thus rarely bugging us for anything — I had an epiphany. I said to Blake: “If we buy a trampoline and a dog, we’ll never have to parent again!”

It was all hugs and cuddles until Bennett started trying to bounce on Avery.

Fast forward to 10 days ago and the Canadian Tire flyer advertising Springfree trampolines on sale. I am not one to be sucked in by flyers, but it’s almost summer and the children are about to be unleashed upon me for nine weeks. When I yell at them to, “Go outside and play!” I want them to skedaddle, and quick.

Still, I have mixed feelings about trampolines — I worry a neighbour’s child will  do a flip on it and break her neck; that kind of thing. A Springfree tramp is supposed to be the safest kind since it lacks both a metal frame and springs, which together account for 70 percent of trampoline injuries. We watched the Springfree video and decided it was probably worth the extra money. (Yes, even on sale they’re expensive, more than a dog probably, but once my husband set it up it would be way less work than a puppy, I figured.)

The apparatus barely fits between our fence and garage, in a spot formerly reserved for weeds.

It’s been assembled for a day now and the kids love it. A net encloses the entire thing and even zippers shut so Bennett can’t accidentally bounce out. I had a tramp as a kid and am astonished my parents let me jump on it unsupervised. No net. Metal frame covered by thin pads. Springs on all sides waiting to pinch and maim. It was a death trap and I’m lucky to still be here.

I jumped on this old-school tramp and so did my friends and miraculously no one ever got hurt. Circa 1986.

Now, in spite of all the advances in trampoline safety and technology, some parents still hate them and think they are dangerous. To prevent injuries you’re supposed to follow certain rules like:

  • No bouncing the dog (WTF?)
  • No flipping unless you know how
  • Only one boucer at a time

This final rule will be a problem in our house. Both kids want to jump at the same time. All. The. Time. Bennett even snuck out of the house after dinner — naked! — to bounce. Blake: “Where’s Bennett?” Me: “I don’t know, isn’t he with you?” Blake: “Um…nooo…” I looked out Avery’s window and there he was, jumping all free and unemcumbered.

Yes, there’s freedom in a trampoline, for the kids and for us. We can sit at our patio table, sip mojitos, enjoy adult conversation and occasionally glance up to make sure the kids aren’t bouncing the neighbour’s black lab puppy while attempting flips.

We have a direct sightline to the tramp from cocktail central.

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5 responses to “We bought a trampoline

  1. Lisa, we loved reading about your Springfree experience. Hope your Springfree Trampoline continues to help you parent and happy bouncing to Avery and Bennett (hopefully clothed)! – Stella

  2. We’ve had a Springfree tramp for 4 years now and the kids are using it more and more every year. A sprinkler underneath is tonnes of fun- last year the older 2 camped under it one night. When they were younger, I loved the fact that it is a giant playpen for toddlers. Lisa, I grew up with a tramp similar to yours, except there were no pads on the springs. No one broke anything but there were quite a few ‘spring burns’ from year to year. Once my brother double bounced me into the 18 ft. fir trees right beside it. My parents weren’t even watching out the window when we played on it- we all turned out just fine!

    • That’s so great to hear! I always worry they will get bored of it and we’ll wonder what we’d been thinking. Of course, I bounced on mine for a good eight years, then I think my parents sold it second hand to some people. And you’re right — our generation is probably way too safety conscious!

  3. Just a note, not a good idea to jump on it (without protection) after giving birth to a few kids- just sayin’. I can’t do ‘swivel hips’ quite the same anymore!

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