Middle Class Problems: There's something sad about the rise and rise of the home trampoline


Click to follow
The Independent Online

No one in their right mind could find anything not to like about little kids bouncing up and down, right? See how their faces light up at the sight of a bouncy castle. Put 'em in wellies and go find a muddy puddle. The simple things. Toddlers. Bless, etc.

But (and you knew there'd be a but) without wanting to harsh anyone's buzz, there is something irredeemably sad about the rise and rise of the home trampoline.

If you live in the sort of place where you can look out of a back window on to other people's gardens, chances are you will be able to see one now. They have become, with microscooters, a de rigueur accessory for the modern middle-class child.

But what does this say about us? I'll tell you what it says. It says, we will happily splash a couple of hundred quid on a monstrosity that will take up half our garden and then spend 99 per cent of its time as a giant bin for dead leaves.

It says that along with the couple of hundred quid the thing cost us, you are prepared to add the manpower (two person assembly, half a day needed) to build the bloody thing.

It says that we like to keep our children where we can see them, away from all those strangers who might do them harm.

It says that we want the little buggers to burn off as much energy as possible so we can exhaust them because, frankly, the more exhausted they are the less they will bother us.

But mostly it says, loud and clear, that the days of kids playing in the street – kicking cans and doing other things that don't cost much (if any) money – are over.