After getting some sleep, I woke up with the partially completed jungle gym still taunting me. I got to it pretty early, wanting to get it knocked out so I’d have time to do some other things with the day. I spent more time trying to use brute strength to wrestle the clamps to my will, but eventually figured out an alternate approach to securing the connections that allowed me to bypass those cursed things. Amazing what a break and a little perspective can do.

Also knowing when you’re beat. I was not winning with those clamps.

Anyway, once that was done, Erin helped with tying and attaching the various ropes and nets. Before too long, we had the whole thing up and operational.


The kids took to it right away, and when I saw how much they were enjoying it, my frustration with the gym immediately turned into much more positive emotions. Now that it’s done, I’m really glad it’s there and I think it’ll be great for both of the kids.

After putting everything away, I dropped the kids off at their grandparents’ for a few hours and was able to run a few errands and even sneak in a little nap. In the evening, our good friend and longtime babysitter Lalaena was coming to look after the kids while Erin and I got out for a nice post-birthday dinner. We tried out a place we hadn’t tried before in a nearby town called Louisville, had a few drinks and a nice meal. The kids, meanwhile, had a great time playing with Lalaena.


Because we aren’t party animals anymore, we were back home before 9, saw Lalaena off and put the kids to bed. I did a little writing and called it a night.

So that was the day. Simple enough, but I certainly did learn something from the whole experience with the jungle gym. It was challenging and difficult, and while doing the assembly, that was all I could think about. It’s amazing how fast that melted away, though, when it was done. Now I look at it with pride, because it was something outside of my comfort zone that I was able to do.

Also, this is instance number 34,239 (roughly) where I should have just listened to my much wiser wife in the first place, when she told me on Friday evening that I should take a break from it. Turns out that was exactly what I needed to do, but in the moment I was too surly and stubborn to see it.

Finally, now that we have this cool set up, I could maybe work in some pull-ups and finally build up the arm strength necessary to properly stretch metal clamps.