Let’s face it…we all know her. Some of you may be her. She’s the playground police mom. She lingers around the playground loudly pronouncing that her kids follow societal rules so that the rest of the kids (and parents) see that there will be no light-hearted fun this go-round.
She is loud.
Sometimes she is loud with her proclamations of being a good mom because of how much more her kids clothes cost than hers. Sometimes she is loud about her plans for coffee later with that one friend she dreads meeting up with. Sometimes she is loud calling her kids out on something they have on as if they dressed themselves. Shut it, lady. We all know you let them leave the house like that because you’re tired of the fight like the rest of us and you just don’t give a crap. Don’t act like you care now that you’re in public. Most of all she is loud about her kids following rules that she only sees other kids ‘breaking.’
You see the playground equipment just like the rest of us. See how the steps and slide are wide enough for four kids to fit down at the same time? Yeah, that means they don’t have to wait in a single file line and take turns to go down it. It also means that if someone’s kid is, you know, being normal and trying to climb UP the slide that the other kids can just slide around them. It also means that if someone’s kid wants to climb the stairs and stay there a few minutes that the whole playground doesn’t have to stop and wait in them.
Take a Xanax.
Or if you must look cool with a cup of coffee switch to decaf. There is no need to keep gasping and seeking for other parents’ reactions every time you see a kid jump from a piece of equipment. They are kids and fear is learned. Know what else is learned? Courage, determination, persistence, and bravery. So stop teaching them to be cautious over jumping 3 feet off the top of a damn toddler toy. Seriously.
Sit down already.
You are making the rest of us nauseous. Your four year old doesn’t need your help climbing into the pretend canoe. If they do, it’s because you keep helping them. They are capable. Instill some confidence in them by encouraging them to do it by themselves. Watch what happens when they succeed. Because they will. Besides, the rest of us can’t keep an eye on our kids from the sidelines with a 160 pound person always in the way.
Your passive-aggressive is showing.
Really. Can it. We all know what you really mean when you sarcastically say,
“You really have to keep your eyes on this one, don’t you?”
“Watch out sweetie, there is someone going the wrong way right now…wait until they get down.”
“Well her mother is somewhere in here…”
“Don’t worry if they are doing it wrong, you do it the right way and set a good example.”
“No, his mommy lets him do that but we do what that sign says.”
“You really have your hands full.”
“You must be from out of town?”
“Wow, they are big to be under 5.”
You’re loud, remember? Put your whistle away. We are all watching.
Let them be kids.
As long as no-one is getting hurt, on purpose, there is no need to intervene. Let them be kids! They can work things out on their own. Believe me…they will learn how to react to their peers if you just back off and let them try. Is there a rowdy boy shoving his way up the steps to the slide? Let your little girl react on her own if she gets shoved aside. Chances are she doesn’t give a crap and she’ll slide down anyway. Is another kid crawling too quickly through the tunnel and making others fall? Let the kids handle it. I’m willing to bet that one kid just wants to see how fast he can get through (because it’s fun) and honestly doesn’t mean to hurt anyone. Heck, unless another kid does the same thing to him he doesn’t know it may hurt at all.
There was a moment on a playground where my husband and I witnessed a kid push down our little boy. My husband’s reaction was, “what should we do?” And I said, “just give him a minute, see how he responds.” You know what? My little boy pushed that other kid right back. Regardless if you agree it was the right thing to do, his daddy and I were both proud of him. We want to know that he’ll stick up for himself if we aren’t there. I’ve also seen my little boy be the one to hit first…and I totally intervened and he got into trouble. Letting them work things out on there own is a huge milestone for them.
You know that coffee you seem to be holding? Sit down and drink it. Here, I have whiskey in my purse, you want some? No idiot, I really don’t have whiskey in my purse. Maybe. But seriously….sit down and shut up! And lower your voice for Pete’s sake.
~Your Mediocre Mom