Novice playground goers - mostly dads, from my observations, tend to break these rules frequently. My guess is that they never intended to go to the park in the first place, but the dad, along with all of the children, were kicked out of the house by an overwhelmed mother who just asking for 45 minutes to herself in her own damn house. (um...not speaking from experience here. Just guessing. ::ahem::) Consequently, these dads, blinking into the sunlight as though they haven't been outside in years, act like young pups: overzealous, disoriented, and slightly hyper.
Playground Dads are easy to spot. They usually roll up in some of completely inappropriate baby apparatus, like strapping their four-month old in an umbrella stroller. (I've seen it, people. It was painful). They then usually attempt to coerce their 18-month old daughter on the "big kid swing" and get frustrated when she cries and is unable to hold on. Playground Dad is incredibly chatting - everything his child does requires a running dialogue. "No Tommy, that's not yours - don't touch that. Oh, okay, Tommy, you can play with it. Okay, say thank you. Tommy, I said, say thank you! Tommy, don't run away from Daddy. Daddy wants you to say thank you! Tommy, don't climb up there. Tommy, that's too high, Daddy can't reach you. Tommy, go down the slide. No, not that way, the other way. Tommy, the other way. The other way! Tommy, I'm going to tell your mother about this. Toooooooommmmmmmeeeeeeee!"
At this point, the seasoned playground-ers are usually exchanging sideways looks at each other: amateur.
Playground Dad almost invariable breaks the cardinal rule of the playground because he is unable to remain coolly detached from his children. Maybe it's the sunlight or the fresh air or he thinks he is awesome because he's now spent a full 20 minutes with his children without checking his phone or asking his wife to intervene, but he has a sudden burst of energy and decides to engage in a game.
Yes, a game.
The kids love it, no question there. But Playground Dad might as well as break out a lute or lyre, because he's become the Pied Piper of the Playground. Children everywhere sense an adult playing - playing! - with another child, and their game of 2 suddenly becomes a game of 14. Like zombies descending upon a still-twitching body, the children race to Playground Dad, insisting he do this or go this way or tag! You're it.
And the one thing I've learned in my two and a half years of doing this, toddlers are like elite athletes: they will outlast you. After fifteen minutes of "chase" or "aliens," Playground Dad is ready for a sports drink and a park bench - but toddler zombies aren't. They've only just begun. And they want more. They can go on like this for hours. So they suck Playground Dad back in, making him do more pony rides or one more trip down the slide, and the poor fool is going to pay for it tomorrow in Advil and Icy-Hot packs.
Don't worry; he'll learn. They all do.