Sunday, March 11, 2012

Life Lessons, Playground Edition

It was a lovely week here in Mid-Mo and we took full advantage of it.  We hit the park several times and had very much fun and even learned a few life lessons.

I will share them with you now, because I know you are on the edge of your seat.

1.  Children have no awareness, or desire to become aware, of the line.  I like to call it the "queue" because it feels very European.  The kids at the park on Saturday not only cut in line, they literally(like actually, not literally like the teens say) pushed others out of the way.  Which brings me to my second life lesson...

2.  Children who push other children out of the way to use the slide do not have parents anywhere nearby.  These apparent park-orphans run a-muck with no regard for rules and order.  They will knock your child down  You will want to knock them out, I mean down, to give them a taste of their own medicine.  See next life lesson.

3.  Knocking another child down, even if they have knocked your child down, is improper and will likely cause the previously orphaned child's parents to come flying onto the scene.  Now, I didn't discover this first-hand.  I just observed. 

4.  Little boys like to kiss little girls on the playground.  This one was a shocker.  Claire was dismounting the slide when a little boy who was likely at least three times her age, planted a kiss right on her cheek.  If you are saying, "awwwww,"  don't.  I didn't like this one bit.  I try my hardest to keep Claire from touching other kids.  Keeping one's hands to one's self is an equally important life lesson.  Of course, my library mom friends get a good laugh when I yell, "don't touch that child, Claire."  She's like a bull in a china shop.  Anyway, back to the drive-by kissing.  First, this kid had so much snot on his face...I can't even think of an analogy for this one.  Second, where are your parents?  Third, just ew, and at least buy her a juice box.  Keep your germs and your lips to yourself.  Claire just looked stunned. 

5.  If you are looking to steal a child (which I am not advocating) the park is the place to do it.  There were so many nomadic children moving from structure to structure with no parent in sight, it was amazing.  I tried counting the parents sitting on benches and allocate at least a handful of kids to those adults but by my calculation every adult there must have been a Duggar because they all had at least 20 kids. 

6.  When you steal this child at the park, don't worry about the kid screaming and blowing your cover.  When we left the park Claire lost her mind.  She was tired, she was hungry, and she wanted to stay at the park and at least be tired, hungry, and sliding.  She screamed like a banshee.  She sounded like the peacock impression my sister does(if you've never had the pleasure, you're in for a real treat) but without the break.  It was amazing.  I thought for sure we'd draw at least a glare or two.  Not a single soul looked our way.  You might be asking yourself why this is a problem.  Well, if my child is screaming, I want at least one person to look me up and down and remember what I'm wearing, what my child is wearing, and what car I'm getting into.  Why?  Because if my child is being abducted, I want someone to notice.  Look, it might sound all worst-case-scenario, but I don't care.  I'd much rather someone annoy me a little by giving me a judgey look than no one notice the time that it's not me taking my kid from the park.  See, this is where park moms become quite handy.  They're always up in your business.  I think I just had one of those Oprah "Ah-ha" moments.

7.  If you are waiting your turn for the baby swings, don't just stand there and stare awkwardly until someone gets uncomfortable and leaves.  Seriously, this happened.  An addendum to this would be don't stand and stare and say to your toddler, "sorry, honey, we just have to wait until someone gets done."  That someone won't be me.  I waited 30 minutes for one of those swings to free up and now Zora is delighting herself by practicing running in mid-air.  So, lay off, lady.  No wonder these kids can't wait their turn.  Their parents, while they may not push you out of the way, will try to guilt-trip you out of the way.  Well, I've got news for them, my mother is a prize-winning guilt-tripper who was taught by the queen guilt-tripper, my granny.  Your comments have no effect on me.  Joke's on you.

8.  Don't play catch with a football in the middle of the play structure.  Especially if you suck at the catch part.  I think I was nearly taken out at least twice by these two little boys tossing around a full-sized football in the midst of the chaos.  Again, where are your parents?  I would never let Claire and Zora do something like that(especially since right now Claire and Zora playing catch would mostly be Zora getting hit in the face).  I'm pretty sure it's against playground rules, anyway.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I am a habitual (heavy on the bitch) rule follower.  It pains me to see others breaking such simple rules. 

All joking aside, what is wrong with people who take their kids to the park and then set them loose?  I'm not saying you have to chase after them, but shouldn't you at least keep an eye on them?  This isn't even appropriate at a dog park with four-legged children.  Why would it be appropriate with the two-legged ones?  Please, keep tabs on your kids.  I don't want them to push my kid down, but I really don't want them to be snatched.    

Even though going to park can be trying and tiring, it is a great distraction from the Great Distractor, TV(similar to the Great Oz, but with more people working things behind the curtain).  We hardly watched any TV this week because we had so many other things to do.  Yay!  I'll beat you, yet, TV.    

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