There is no embarrassment, if you cannot hang from the rings or you fell down from one of those things or you are afraid to come down the long, twisting slide. You just give up after a few tries and move on to the next one that you can tackle.
If they laugh at you, you laugh with them.
You hang from the bar and try to rotate a log with your feet. You can’t get it right. Then another child comes along, says “that’s not how it’s done, here let me show you.” Then he shows the child and he goes away to something else he likes to play with. There is no excessive show or expectation of gratitude. Who has the time?
The toddler takes a long time to climb the steps of the slide. The bigger ones wait till he scampers up, or they jump up and carefully climb over him, and no one complains.
Sometimes the bigger children help the little ones to play with something that’s a little tricky. They don’t even think much of it, they don’t pretend they have done something magnanimous, and they forget it soon enough.
If the hurdle is too high for you, you crawl under it to the other side and you’re happy. Then you jump over a smaller one, and you’re more happy.
If you knock a child down in your hurry, you wait a micro-second to make sure he is okay, he isn’t screaming, and then you run on. The fallen one dusts himself up and goes on with whatever he was doing. If he screams, you are a little delayed, but nothing else happens.
You applaud in real enthusiasm when you see someone else rising up the bars and hanging upside down effortlessly. “Dude, that was great,” you say. And you mean it.
The bigger kids like to swing high in the swing, but when they see the wide-eyed, excited infants approaching the swing eagerly, they just let it go and go climb up the slide instead.
Because everyone gets a chance at the slide.
(Things are a little different when it’s a question of a game like Uno or a team game like cricket or football, and it’s a post for another day.)