I don't know about you, but right now, after three days of ridiculous humidity and erratic downpours, my lawn looks more like a jungle. A jungle full of drooping dandelions well past their prime. The kids and I chuckle fondly over The Boss's anxiety when he sees the neighbor open the shed and pull out the mower. Never, not once, in all the years that we've owned a home has The Boss been the first neighbor to boast a fully trimmed and newly-edged lawn to start off the Spring Yard Games. That's what we all say, when we see The Boss twitching and itching in his seat while he watches one of our five closest neighbors beat him to the punch. We say, "Let the Games Begin!" and laugh evilly.
Not even the advent of teaching Shaggy and Dr. D last year to run the mower has eased The Boss's competitive spirit. He now has fully released the job to Dr. D for a weekly salary but he still shivers when he drives in and out of the driveway, cringing at the dandelions and crabgrass interspersed in the clover and grass. (Interspersed is a gentle term. Think more like invasion of the Huns.) The thing is, it's a game he'll never win. Never. He works full time, an hour and a half or more of commuting time tacked onto the already 8-9 hour day. Our neighbors, for the most part, are retired and/or teachers. They are home earlier. And more often. So while he is totally frustrated at the inability to compete at their level, he is ever so grateful for Dr. D's skills and effort. He'll be more grateful when he doesn't have to wait till Dr. D is done school for the week to enjoy a freshly mowed lawn, but that's beside the point.
You'll notice that I emphasized that we taught Shaggy and Dr. D to run the mower just last year. That's because we are self-proclaimed safety freaks. Aaaaaand, before last year, we had a riding mower that worked adequately for The Boss to knock out the job in an hour or so on a Saturday morning and he actually kind of liked the relaxing nature of riding round and round and round in big circles around our fenced-in pool and the house. Then, the time crunch got crazy and we checked in with the boys to see how they felt about hand-mowing. I will admit, it took some convincing of The Momma that both boys were ready to take the task as seriously as we both felt it should be taken. You see, both The Boss and I have heard too many horrible stories of accidents with mowers, too many times... For example, did you know:
Lawn mower-related injuries account for more than
51% of traumatic amputations among children.
Major limb loss is most commonly caused
by lawn mowers for children under the age of 10.
And that's NOT just for the children who are operating those mowers. It's for the ones caught in the blind spots of operators. Or the ones "just running to retrieve that ball" that they threw too far. It's horrible. It's tragic, and it's completely preventable.
Please, go HERE and read this post. It's not a game. It's life and death. And it's preventable, with just a few safety measures and standards that are easily adapted to your family.