Monday, March 26, 2012

Fun at the Playground

Now that spring is upon us it’s time to start taking the kids to the park.  But I have to say…going to the park really stresses me out. 

First of all, I hate trying to pack for every conceivable situation. 
Someone will be hungry; someone will be thirsty; someone will need a wipey.  Ok, we know those things are inevitable.  But then there are all of the surprises.  Will it be cold?  I’ve had it be 75 and sunny at my house and the park is sub-zero.  Or it’s cloudy where we are but the park is apparently under some sort of gigantic heat lamp. 
And obviously I’m the mother who didn’t put sunscreen on her kids.  Who wants to do that if they don’t have to?  It’s honestly my least favorite thing to do in the world.  Putting sunscreen on a squirming toddler should be an Olympic event.  I’d rather pay for their Botox injections at age 8 when they have deep wrinkles due to excessive sun exposure. 

So we pack nine jackets, four different types of hats, twelve bottles of water, sunscreen, shovels, scuba gear…we’re off.
Getting there is clearly only half the battle.  Once you’re in you have to find a way to peacefully coexist with other parents and children.  This can be tricky.

You always have that one group of moms who all know each other and think they rule the playground.  They suck.  Unless you happen to be a part of that group…then they’re awesome.  That’s why I try to have my Momtourage with me at all times.  Mostly because I want to have backup in case me or my kids get into any altercations. 
Ok, I know it sounds weird that I prepare for battle when I enter fun places filled with children enjoying themselves.  But some moms are bitches…and some kids are jerks…and the jerky kids usually belong to the bitchy moms.  Genetics.

There’s always the one child that you hope your kid will just avoid.  You see this kid doing things like throwing sand, pushing other kids and brandishing large sticks that he obviously intends to use as weapons.  Wait, what’s he doing now?  Oh.  He’s carrying a very large rock around and throwing it through the holes in the climbing structure.  It’s now dropping from the air onto unsuspecting victims (true story). 
Ummm…anyone else seeing this?  Anyone seeing it wanna make a move to end it?  Is there a parent involved here or am I supposed to intervene and stop boulder-throwing-boy before he flattens a small child?
Disciplining other people’s kids is usually frowned upon.  But know what else should be frowned upon?  Letting your beast child run free and crush other kid’s skulls for fun.  I, personally, am against that. 

Usually someone will loudly say “Oh I don’t think that’s really safe, hunny!” 

You always have to throw in a term of endearment to make it sound like you were trying to be helpful. What you actually wanted to say is “Hey, little shit, knock it off and go tell your mom she needs to put down the phone.  Unless she’s talking to a behavior therapist, cause you need one.”

Now, don’t get me wrong…I like to ignore my kids as much as the next mother.  But there’s a time and a place to do so.  It’s really a fine art.  Do it in your own home, not out in public.  (And as a side note while we’re on the subject of ignoring things: Please change your child if she needs it.  Nine other mothers around you just stuck their noses up their kid’s asses. It’s none of us.  It’s you and you know it.  Own up to it.)

You see a lot of different parenting styles these days.
I fully admit that I am an overly cautious mom when it comes to the playground.  I don’t want my kids getting hurt…cause I’m the one who will have to listen to them bitch about it all day long.  Carter screams like a banshee when he thinks there’s something in the bottom of his shoe.  I can’t imagine what he’d be like in an actual crisis. 
One morning after dropping Carter at school I took Grant, who wasn’t even two yet, to our local park.  I climbed up the steps behind him and went down the slide next to him.  A mother standing by made a comment on how cautious I was and said I should probably just let my 18 month old climb 15 feet up in the air by himself.  “I just let my kids run free, that’s really what kids need you know.  They need to be able to fall down and get back up.”

Then she pointed out her child.
Oh is that him?  That one right there with the huge cast on his arm from his shoulder to his wrist?  Interesting parenting philosophy.  How’s that working out for ya?  Thanks for the tip.

I keep telling my husband we really need to put a swing set in the backyard. 


  1. You make me belly laugh! Okay, so here's the deal: I nominated you for a Liebster Award. You can check for the skinny on my blog when you get a sec. ( Take care!

  2. Thanks...I have no idea what that is... =)

    I'll check it out for sure! Thanks for reading!