Somerville, Mass – This is the kind of summer the twins have had. V spends hours a day — hours — at the playground. He often wants to run over there as soon as he gets up and we have to remind him to eat breakfast first. He sometimes finds somebody to play with — friends old and new. But when he doesn’t, he’s there anyway: usually swinging on the swings. Just swinging. Forever swinging. And somehow, in this context, he got it in his head that he wanted to set the world record for swinging for the longest time without stopping.
I have no idea where this idea came from, but he declared his intention yesterday evening, when I was trying to get him to come home. I said it’s too late to start now, but I promised he could try on a different day. And this morning, promptly after breakfast, he declared: “I’m off to the park to set the world record for swinging!” And he was off.
Current Record Holder
Just out of curiosity, I did a little research. I learned that the Guinness record is held by a New Zealand teen, Charlie O’Brien. He just captured the record in April 2019, by swinging for 33 hours. I also learned that Guinness apparently allows contestants to take a 5-minute break every hour, which would be critical information for V.
I’m not saying that swinging for 33 hours is not a daunting task. But I have to admit that I expected more for a world record. And I think that V could totally beat this record. Some day. Probably not this year.
Future Record Holder
But I was not going to stop him from trying…
We checked on V every hour. We brought him snacks. I reapplied his sunblock. His brother came over to swing with him and keep him company. Daddio brought him a Garfield book to read. We all brought water, lots of water. He came home once or twice to use the bathroom. In the end, his swinging marathon lasted for 7 hours. He came home exhausted and said he started to get motion sickness.
It was 26 hours short of the record, but Daddio and I were still impressed. And we are pretty sure he holds the local record, if not the world record. Too bad V refused to let us post a commemorative sign at the playground.
He said maybe he’ll try again when he’s a teenager.
And in the meantime, I am getting familiar with the Guinness rules. Apparently we have to file an application with Guinness and inform them ahead of time about the attempt. And we have to document the entire 33 hours on video. So… good thing he didn’t swing for 33 hours only to be disqualified. When V is ready to try again, it won’t be in vain!
Addendum: Within a week, V was saying he is going to try again next summer. Stay tuned!