Thursday, April 15, 2010

Parky Park

Today I took the girls to Oakbrook Park since it was so nice out, and to burn off some energy for their afternoon naps. As you can see, it was just a touch windy. :)

DSC_6724 zDSC_6715 copySummer loved the swings, and I learned that she loves going down the slide. She’s gotten pretty fearless on it, and as long as someone is there to catch her at the bottom, she’s game. 

Can we talk about park etiquette now? I am a relatively new park-goer, and I may not be hip to what the rules are, so please, indulge me.

When we got to the park there were maybe 10 kids playing, all girls. All of the parents were on the benches near the equipment except for one girl’s parents—or guardians, who knows—who sat at a picnic table a little ways off. They were super engaged in conversation the entire time. Meanwhile, their little girl was taking other kids’ toys, eating other kids’ snacks, etc. Well, most of the kids start to leave and it’s just us with this girl named Tanaya and another mom and her daughter.

We were taking a break and having a drink and graham crackers and Tanaya comes up holding the other girl’s tea cup. She holds it out to me:

Tanaya: “Give me some of your water.”

Me: “Um….that doesn’t look very clean. No.”

Tanaya: “Give me some of your water.”

Me: “No. It’s dirty.” Trying to get rid of her.

She comes back with a different tea cup.

Tanaya: “Give me some of your water.”

Me: “That doesn’t look very clean either.”

Tanaya: “Can you give me a cookie?”

Me: Seriously?? Where are your parents?? “Um, you need to ask your mom first.”

Tanaya: “Can you give me a cookie?” Wow, super bright.

Me: “Ask your mom first.” I’m looking over there to see if they have any clue she’s begging for food. They don’t.

She runs over and then run backs, clearly not long enough to ask.

Tanaya: “Can I have a cookie now?”

Me: “Did she say yes?”

Tanaya: “Uh huh” Yeah right. So I call over and ask if she can have one. She says yes.

I give her a graham cracker.

Tanaya: “Can I have two??”

Me: “NO!”

What the heck? Get out of here, kid! Later, Kylie was just walking near Tanaya and the other girl and she yells “NO! You can’t play!” to Kylie.

Oh no you didn’t.

I reply to her, “You need to be nicer. Share!” I am NOT opposed to stepping in and telling kids to be nice if their parents are too oblivious to do so. I would expect other moms to do the same to my child.

Later, we were on the swings and she comes over and tries to “help” Kylie get on and wants to push her. I tell her no, I will help her. She gets on the swing next to Kylie and then asks me to push her. Go away!! I push her once or twice but then get so annoyed I grab the kids and decide to go home.

Ok, I’m really not heartless. Really. But I didn’t go to the park to watch THREE kids. It just makes me mad that other parents aren’t as cognizant of their children and whereabouts as I am about my own kid. I would never let my kid harass other parents and make them feel awkward about giving them snacks. Maybe other parents don’t feel like they’re being harassed, but with the amount of food allergies and whatnot going on these days, I’m not going to be responsible for someone’s elses kid going into anaphylactic shock.

So, what would you have done? What I really wanted to do was interrupt her guardian’s (cuz I’m pretty sure they weren’t her parents) conversation and tell them to watch their own kid. People like that make me so mad. Derrick says it’s a cultural thing (and you can guess which based on the name) but I feel like that is NO excuse. There, I said it. And even if culture weren’t involved, I’d still be as annoyed.

Anyway, I’m hoping I’m not the only one that feels this way.

16 comments:

Natalie said...

I'm with you--that's way annoying.

Sarah said...

It is enough having to just watch and entertain your own kids. Sometimes I think those parents know what they are doing though... they are probably thinking they would rather have their kid(s) annoy somebody else than have to deal with it themselves:) I totally would have felt the same way.

Lyana said...

Whoa, that would drive me nuts. I have been in your shoes before, it is tough. I don't believe it is necessarily a cultural thing, but it did involve someone from a different culture as well;)
I usually just bluntly tell the kid to go ask their mom to push if the mom seems to be oblivious to the situation without a good reason. At the same time, if a kid is just being friendly AND is playing with my kids, then it's a different story. I just hope my kids don't do that someday to other moms-haha.

Emmy said...

Ah the rules and etiquette of the park.. I have written and read many posts about this as it is a very hot subject.
I would be beyond annoyed if some kid was coming and asking me for food, it would be one thing if it was a kid from the group I was with, but a stranger.. yeah doesn't work.
And while I have at times been at the park with a big group of mom's we do visit and talk and honestly probably miss a few things; but we keep an eye on all of the kids as a hole and if someone eles' kid is doing something we tell the mom in our group so it can be taken care of and we aren't that group of moms.
And you know as Summer gets older and is able to play at the park by herself more, just watch out as it is easy to become one of those moms then as you don't have to be there with them every minute.

Lee Anne said...

I'm betting Tanaya's guardian didn't say thank you for the cracker, either! I'm all for stepping in and correcting other kids' manners but be aware that if the kid's parent hears you, it may bring out the mother bear claws. So do it out of hearing range!
Yes, I speak from experience ;)

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Lara said...

UGH, I have been in this same situation. Luckily we were at the "end" of our park visit and I just left. I wanted to march right over to the mother and interrupt her conversation and say "have you been aware of what you daughter is doing?"

Yeah. But no. I'm non-confrontational for the most part. So I just left, disgusted. Some moms just don't give a crap. And they suck.

wackywilsons said...

It's hard being a "nice stranger" to other people's kids...I guess just use the Golden Rule, right?

Courtney said...

Agreed. You never know what you will find at the park. We had a similar situation. We put Madie in the swing (Madie just loves other kids by the way and smiles and claps to grab their attention) and a little girl came up and started pushing her. We supervised this pushing because she was a little on the rough side. Then she started to twist the swing and that is when I pulled Madie out. The little girl then decided to grab Madie and start kissing her face, SO GROSS!!! Needless to say we left the park! No idea where her parents were. Rich now likes to do a park scan to see if he sees the little girl before we head over to the swings, LOL. Some parents are obviously more hands on than others and enjoy the experience with the kiddos. Glad we are those parents :)

Jessica said...

I would have the hardest time not wanting to show the girl a little disapline, I can't stand when parents don't watch their kids either. Those kids always walk around thinking they can do whatever they want.

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