July 31, 2013
can it, kid
So, I ran into some unfriendly kids at the playground today. My first encounter of many I assume. Scarlett and I tried a different playground that is really close to home. We were the only ones there for a while so she explored and climbed and tried the different slides. We walked around the field and she, of course, found a dirt patch to play in. We ran around a bit and just had a good time. I saw a few kids approaching on their bikes accompanied by a couple of ladies. Game on.
Scarlett was excited to see the kids and their puppy. The ladies put their bags and iced coffees down on a bench and had a seat. No hellos were exchanged. The kids ran to the playground. Scarlett stood smiling and enthusiastically saying Hi! to each of them as they ran past her. Okay, that's fine, they are kids, they don't know enough to - WAIT. Don't they know enough to say hi when someone speaks to them? What are they like 8? 7? They should know. Shouldn't they? Shouldn't their moms correct them? Am I being weird? Whatever, no biggie, let's move on. "Come on, honey, let's go back to the slide," I say as I grab her sweet little hand.
The kids are now jogging off in another direction and Scarlett grins excitedly and starts toddler-running behind them yelling LET'S GOOOO!!!! She was so excited. They completely ignored her. They ran off and did their own thing. As I expected. Little bastards. Not one of them could acknowledge her??? And seriously, Iced-coffee Moms, you can't just say - hey my kid, can you say hello to the little girl? I know it's gossip time but please be somewhat aware that your kid might be a douche. "Come on, honey, let's see if we can find a four-leaf clover in the grass!" I say as I grab her sweet little hand. We head over toward the swings and one of the boys sprints to the swing in front of us. Scarlett smiles at him and says, HI!!!! and the boy shoots back a salty, "I'M USING THIS ONE!!" Ummm listen you rude little F*@C$#R, she was saying HI to you, she didn't want your GD swing. Hope that rusty chain is safe, jerk.
Again I took Scarlett's hand and walked away. Another child, a girl, began swinging as we walked past and I told Scarlett not to walk in front of the swing or she may get kicked. Scarlett was slow moving and the girl continued to swing even harder as I ran to grab Scarlett just in time before she was booted across the yard. Are they doing this on purpose?? It's like Children of the Corn out here! WTF with these little maniacs!! I realize children don't always pay attention and aren't looking out for little ones but come on. And honestly, by this point I was shocked that the mothers hadn't even glanced up from their chit-chat. How about reintroducing manners to your children? Maybe ask them to be mindful of others?
We were going to hit the slides one more time before leaving. I reminded Scarlett not to walk in front of the slides or swings or she may get kicked. I saw the boys listening as I told her. I took her hand just in case and was walking her toward the steps while one of the kids came shooting down the slide at us. You couldn't wait two seconds you little shit??? I'd had it. Clearly we weren't able to play with the older crowd. At least not a crowd with hands-off parents. We were outta there. We took a slow walk around the field - to distract Scarlett from the fact that we were leaving - and headed back to the car.
Yesterday, Scarlett dominated the playground. There were boys and girls older and younger and she had a blast with them - because their mothers were involved and paying attention. They were taking turns and being safe and playing with each others' toys. I'm realizing this whole mothering thing is going to be more challenging than I thought as I have to factor in the other parents - not just the other kids. Which is something I hadn't given much thought to - until today. I smiled at those boys and girls today while I wanted to knock the wind out of them... but really I was angry with their mothers. How can we make the world a better place if we are setting our kids up to be assholes? Sure, I am seemingly overreacting - it was just one instance. And I am a "new mom" and veteran moms will most likely scoff at this post. But it was a shitty instance and I hated it and I hated seeing Scarlett overlooked and I know it's going to happen a million more times. And I know it's not going to get any easier.