Have you ever been to the park in early Fall?
Heard the laughter of young children as they frolic in the mid-range-temperature-sunshine?
How about the mother’s sitting idly by simply watching their little ones politely play with one another?
No? Yeah, me neither.
Instead, I see children running from playset-to playset with worried Mom’s following along to ensure their safety as they swing like carefree monkeys, younger siblings sleeping in slings or strollers, and that blasted sandbox is like the setting for the next Braveheart.
Scary. I see you exorcism movie, I raise you the park before naptime. Your move.
Ever since Bubba was big enough to walk the park has been a scary place.
Yeah, yeah, strangers and splinters are scary but that’s not what I’m talking about.
I don’t want to be the mom with the buttheaded kid!
We practice manners and sharing and all of those other things that help young ones to be able to participate in playgroup without getting kicked out, but sometimes kids have bad days.
I’ve never been happier to get to a park and find out that there isn’t anyone there. No one to worry about cutting in front of, taking turns, hogging the swings or trying to be first. You know what I want to be first to do? I want to be first to take a nap or drink a cup of warm coffee on a weekday. A mom can dream, can’t she? Now, on top of worrying about your own child you have to keep on eye on the other kids playing as well. There’s always one kid who doesn’t give two-flying-pigs about what other kids are doing, they’re going to do their thing, their way, or the whole park is going to hear about it. Yes, it will be your kid someday, and when it is, I wish you Tylenol, patience, non-judgements playground-goers and something good in the way of a redirection. You’ve got to watch out for that kid, you’ve got to watch your kid, and you’ve got to watch our for the little one who likes to sit at the bottom of the biggest most popular slide and pick up each piece of mulch to examine. Molasses is faster than a mulch-minded toddler.
It’s war, I tell you!
But, like moths to a flame, we return each time the weather gives us perfection in a day to do it all over again. We cross our fingers that today it won’t be our little nugget who decides that the swings are his and anyone touching them has violated the terms of an international treaty.
Eventually, my littles will get too big to want to go to the park with Mommy so I’ll take the sandbox squabbles and sounding like a broken record reminding them to wait their turn.
All’s fair in playgrounds and war.