The Slide!

I convinced T to finish up the jungle gym this afternoon since it was warm out and he only had a few more bolts to put in to finish up. I was happy just to get the swings up (although I might buy a baby swing or move the one from the porch out to the swing set, since W looked pretty precarious on the big-kid swings out there). But T said it would only take a few more minutes to attach the slide, so he did that also.

Although W had to try out each swing in turn, he really went crazy for the slide. I thought it might be too high for him-- he's never wanted to go down a high slide at the park before, but today he was completely undaunted.

T had to lift him up to chest-height so W could climb the top two stairs of the ladder (since this is used equipment, it came missing one of the rungs of the ladder making it impossible for W to climb until T fashions a replacement). But W managed the top two steps just fine, and was able to climb into the fort. It took a little while, but he eventually got the hang of how to sit on the edge of the slide with his feet in front of him, then push off and go down the slide.

Which he did with gusto, again and again. He was going pretty darn fast, sometimes flying clear off the end of the slide (into the mud, which seemed to increase the fun for him). I'll have to encourage T to fix the ladder ASAP, since it would be way too strenuous for me to lift W up to the top of the ladder so many times, although it's easy enough for me to stand there and spot him until I'm sure he can manage the whole thing by himself. I thought it might take until the end of the summer for him to master the ladder, but judging on how he handled the top steps he might be able to do it without spotting by the beginning of the summer.

Now T just has to mark the perimeter of the play area with logs, put down more landscape fabric, and get a truckload of mulch. I'm not sure our regular delivery guy could get his truck down the hill to the spot where we need it, but we do know there is some way to get mulch directly from Yancey Mills (although we're not sure how, we'll have to call to find out) into your own trailer. So I think our plan will be for T to hitch the trailer to the pickup, take it to the mill to fill with mulch, then when he gets home, hitch the trailer to the tractor, which can take the hill better than a truck can. Going down the hill isn't the problem, it's getting a truck back up out of there we don't want to risk.

I've already figured out where I want six ornamental trees to go behind the play area. Three spring-blooming trees, three summer blooming trees. I can't think of any fall-blooming trees, so I'll save that season for flowering shrubs or perennials.