January 25, 2011

PARK RULES

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post for Momlogic about the Top Ten Reasons Why I Hate the Park. Although there was a little truth to it (yes, I hate birds. Always will), I mostly meant it as a joke (kind of). Now that Jonah is older, I definitely do enjoy trips to the park more because he's able to explore and play in a different way than when he was a toddler. I love watching him interact with children he doesn't know and climb on equipment confidently.... That is, until bitches get in my way. Let me rephrase: Old bitches.

Okay. I know that is going to sound very harsh, but what happened to us over the weekend needs to be shared, examined and discussed, because I have a feeling this has happened to other moms too.

Let me paint the picture:

We're at the park. Jonah is having a great time. He's climbing, playing, moving merrily along and minding the other children (and their space) appropriately. And like any energetic 3 year old, he's happy to slide down the slide, and climb up the stairs 47 times in a row without missing a beat.

Fine. So he makes his way back up the stairs for thrill #48. He gets to the top of the slide and sits patiently as another kid gets to the bottom. Just as Jonah is about to slide down, a little girl, (being watched by an older, very tucked and pulled woman), starts to climb UP the slide. Said Old Bitch says nothing.

"Jonah," I say. "It looks like this little girl is going to climb up the slide now," I say somewhat incredulously in OB's direction. She doesn't flinch, but I assume it's just from too many visits to Dr. 90210.
Jonah stares at the girl. "I want to go down."
"Please wait, sweetheart. She is coming up and isn't going to let you slide down. I'm sorry," I say gritting my teeth.
"But it's my turn!"
"I know. But---------" WHOOSH. He slides down RIGHT into the girl.
"WAHHHHHHHH!" The girl cries.
"Jonah! I told you to wait! I'm so sorry!" I say to the little girl.
OB let's out a little "Tsk, tsk," and I feel botox needles stares coming from her eyes. I try to contain my rage.
I pull Jonah off the slide and say to him loudly, "I know you got really excited because it was your turn, and you were following THE RULE by going DOWN the slide. But next time, even when there is someone breaking the rules and potentially getting hurt, you need to be good person and make good decisions for yourself, no matter what the other children are doing."
OB's older grandson (maybe 6 or 7?) says, "We can go up and down the slide any time. There are no rules."
"Actually," I say loudly in case they tucked her ears too much, "There ARE park rules. Going up the slide can be dangerous."
OB says under her breath, "You're something else."
Wha- whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat???!
"You're unbelievable."
"Excuse me?!" I turn to her.
"There are no park rules. Children can go up and down the slide whenever they want."
"UM, no. No they cannot. When children are going down, the person going up the slide needs to wait."
"Whatever," she says.
"No, not whatever. Is it okay for a kid to stand in front of a moving swing because that's where they want to stand in the no-rule park land you live in?!"
"You're unbelievable," she mutters trying to garner sympathy from a nanny who I'm guessing had zero comprehension of the words we were exchanging.
"Come, Jonah. Time to go."

On the way home, Jonah asked me a dozen times to explain to him what had happened on the slide and why mommy yelled at the lady. (Oy) Each time, I tried to explain the importance of being a good person and how to make good decisions, in spite of adversity, blah blah blah.

Though Jonah totally "hurt" the little girl, I 100% believe she and Cat Eyes are to blame. I think about it like this-- In the state of California, if you open your car door and a car drives by and takes it off- guess what?-- it's YOUR fault. You opened your car door in to on-coming traffic. Sure, the car COULD have been driving slower or could have swerved, but essentially, you were not being cautious or waiting until the coast is clear.

Well, in my opinion The UP-DOWN slide rule at the park is exactly the same. And to say that there's no such thing as "Park Rules....?" Well... that just seems plain ludicrous.

What do YOU think? How would you explain this to your kid if they were going down OR if they were coming up? Do you think I should have punished Jonah?

Tell me your thoughts!!!

11 comments:

Kimberly {YeP, they are all mine} said...

YES. You are totally right. I call that a natural consequence.

And, I also hate birds.

Holmes said...

Jonah didn't do anything wrong. I think you were totally in the right and there are definitely park rules. The OB needs to get it together! Go you!!!

Truthful Mommy said...

YOu were totally in the right. I teach my girls to be courteous and follow rules but it never fails, we always have the same run in. Here in the Midwest, its not so much OBs with cat eyes as it is too busy Mommy groups who aren't watching their children or white trash Mommies who don;t give a rats ass if their 80 lb. monster plows over my little girls. I have done the exact same thing you have done.People are morons. You were totally right. She's a great example for those kids. Im sure they have no rules at home either. They should make pleasant adults!

www.motherhoodthetruth.com

Nanette said...

Yup, you were totally right. The OB was a biatch.

I've encountered my share of crazies at the parks, too. What really irks me is when a kid hits/shoves mine and the caretaker isn't fazed one bit. I apologize up one side and down the other (HA! I almost said up one SLIDE and down the other) if my kid ever comes close to harassing another one.

anuncommonfamily.com said...

I think YOU should have climbed up the stairs and went down the slide and plowed into the kid a second time, just for good measure.

OB can suck it. You're right. Plastic surgeon must have nicked her brain during a procedure.

mama ritchie said...

Thank GOD someone has said what I have felt my entire life as a mom. I hate the goddamned park - specifically for this reason. I give the caretaker the chance to be the parent, and when they decline, I do it for them. Screw it. Good for you for standing up to that passive aggressive freak show! (Should I tell you how I really feel??)

mama ritchie said...

Thank GOD someone has said what I have felt my entire life as a mom. I hate the goddamned park - specifically for this reason. I give the caretaker the chance to be the parent, and when they decline, I do it for them. Screw it. Good for you for standing up to that passive aggressive freak show! (Should I tell you how I really feel??)

Vanessa said...

No Jennifer, you are right on the money!

They may not have been a sign with the rules printed on them but they are common sense rules.

Don't throw sand
Up the stairs, down the slide
Don't stand in front of swings
No cutsies

My sister ended up with a concussion once because this kids pushed her and her friend down the slide and she clipped her head on the end of the slide.

You were right to explain to Jonah what happened and how the girl was in the wrong. It was a new life lesson.

If it were me I would have told OB to go botox something :D

Maegan said...

I will admit I'm sort of a uninvolved parent at the park...I watch what is going on, though...Or at least whomever is WITH me is watching the kids, lol. I am terrible to take out in public. I am a fairly strict rule follower. I feel like most rules are in place to help people, not hurt them. So...I would've said something too, only in the car on the way home my kids would have been asking what a twat was.

andrea said...

WOW. That woman sound AWFUL. I've had the same annoyance with kids climbing up the slides but I've never encountered anybody being such a bitch about it. OBVIOUSLY it's wrong to climb up a slide. It makes me so sad to think someone spoke to you like that.

Mommy's Paradise said...

I defenitely agree with your reaction. And as Vanessa commented there are 'common sense'-rules everybody has to follow. Or the park would not be a fun (and safe) place anymore for all the kids playing there.