Monday, February 13, 2012

Example #1 of why the park sucks

In case I haven't yet proven my point about why parks suck in my last post, I have a rather charming park story that basically sums up why they suck. And why Other Peoples' Kids can suck. And, why Other People can suck.

The other day, I hit up the park with a great friend and her daughters. Going with her makes it 100 times more tolerable. We gossip, commiserate, whine, wish we had wine, and get to be the crazy moms who are actually disciplining our kids, to the horrified stares of others.

Anyway. Connor, who is 3, had stolen away to the far end of the park and was laying over the seat of a swing, swinging back and forth. Once I figured out where he was, thanks to my friend spotting him, I eyeballed him for a minute, then strolled over to have him come back to the other end with the rest of us. As I was approaching, I witnessed this:

The approximately 7-year-old little asshole kid on the swing next to him started spitting on him. Like, leaned over his swing and began spitting on unaware Connor's back and head.

Now. One might think that my first reaction would be and should be instant outrage, and I ought to just storm up to the little asshole kid and flip out on him. But, because I have been patronizing these 7th circles of Hell for some time now, I have actually become quite immune to these types of events. In fact, because kids and their parents can be such complete and total assholes, I have come to expect them.

This is what I did instead. I did a scene evaluation (yes, I know I'm a dork). First, I looked around for the parent. Pretty much half the time, they are nonexistent and have no idea what their kids are doing. The other half are present, and watching, and doing not a damn thing about what their kids are doing. This time, Mom was present. And watching. And not doing a damn thing about the fact that her kid was spitting on another kid.

Second, I evaluated whether or not I should say something to the mom and/or the kid. One might think it should be obvious that I should say something, as spitting on another person is generally considered unacceptable, but really, I have learned, people. I have learned that most parents think their kids are the Second Coming of Christ, and not only that, this mom had just witnessed what her kid did, and did nothing about it! So what is my saying anything going to do? Change her entire parenting style? Suddenly make her capable of disciplining her child? I think not. But on the other hand, jerk watches her kid spitting on some other kid and does nothing about it probably deserves a little earful from someone. So, I was debating what to do as I walked up to them. Then, as I got closer, the option of my saying anything at all was immediately shelved, because clearly, there was going to be a language barrier. None of them were going to understand a thing I said. 

Third, I evaluated whether or not it was possible that Connor might have done something to incite the little asshole kid. Not that this excuses spitting, not by a long shot, but some kids (and their parents) are dipshits and have zero conflict resolution skills, so spitting or some other form of violence seems to be the only outlet for them. And if Connor was somehow being a little punk and inciting this kid, then obviously I need to recognize his part in this ridiculousness. Then I realized that I had just been watching them for the past minute and didn't see anything to warrant him getting spit on (What really does warrant that?), so unless something had happened before that, he was most likely in the clear.

So, short story long, I bribed Connor off the swing with the offer of some fruit snacks, threw the mom and kid the hairy eyeball, and got him the spitting hell out of there.

hate the park.

What would you have done?

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  1. Oh no. I am sooo not ready to be a mother of a kid that can walk/go to the park.

    My son is 11 weeks old, and I still think he is god's gift to the world.

    I'm quite aware that he will turn into a monster at some point, but until then - I would flip the eff out at the mom who just watched her kid spit on my precious.

    I need this blog. To learn what shit I'm going to have to deal with in the next few years.

  2. Kylee,
    Your 11-week-old IS still God's gift to the world! I LOVE the baby stage, and I wish all my boys were still babies, I really do. I'm slightly envious of you, having a sweet little baby still.

    I know it's hard to imagine that he will turn into a monster eventually, but you are one step ahead of the game just in realizing that he will. You are smart.

    And once you start venturing out with him and doing the little kid things, you'll quickly learn how much other parents can suck. Just SUCK. And some are pure gold.

    I'm very happy to be here to help you learn what shit you are going to have to deal with! Have you been peed on yet? (Starting small, starting small....)

  3. Dude, I had the trifecta all in one day.

    poop, pee and vomit.

    Oh yeahhhhh welcome to mommy-dom!!

  4. And by the way - I totally deserve my sweet baby turning into a monster.

    Both the H and I were nightmare kids.

    We have it coming, and we know it :p

  5. Oh, good, glad to see that he's breaking you in properly!

    And I say, your kid should break the cycle of monster kids growing up and getting repaid with their own monster kids! No sense in repeating a bad cycle, right? :-)

  6. As I think I've mentioned before I'm a pre-k teacher, so my instinct and habit would have been to call out (as soon as I saw the spit) first to child spitting "that is not ok! we never spit. it's gross and spreads germs" then to my child "if someone spits on you, you say "no, don't do that to me". then you get away from them.". And then dragged my kid away from area.
    If my kid was the one who had done spitting I would do the same only reverse and told other kid to tell mine to stop. then mine would have to apologize. and would b punished.
    I dread the day my baby is old enough to interact with other kids. because like you I'm a disciplinary, and I see lots of parents whose kids are more special than everyone else, so they don't have to follow the rules of common courtesy or respect. drives me bananas.

    1. Sounds like a very good approach! Yes, it's tough dealing with some of the more lax parenting styles out in public. And that was my nice way of putting it... ;-)

  7. I thought of you & this post yesterday while at the park with my 20 month old son & just had to come back & make a comment. We went to the park yesterday & I am trying to not be that helicopter mom & let my son do his own thing going up the stairs & down the slide even though I'm freaking out inside that he's going to fall & bust his head open (I'm a first time my mom but I'm trying to relax). Anyway I was standing with my husband & another Mom & we were watching as this other little kid that was about 4 run around the park in his underwear (it's about 57 degrees) so we were wondering a little about that. My son is still a little hesitant about going down the slide but he will do it after sitting for a minute. This little boy ran up behind him on the slide & HUMPED him. Mama Bear broke out & I ran at them yelling get off my kid, YUCK, while my husband tried to hold me back. I think my husband was a little embarrassed but I turned around & pointed at him, you're secretly glad I yelled at that kid to stop humping our son, he agreed (he might have seen the murder in my eyes). I still don't know how you held back about the spitting. I don't think I'm going to have many friends at the park soon. Love your blog. Molly

    1. Holy crap! Just... holy crap! Thank you for sharing that one! I think you'll still have friends; there has to be lots of moms who would flip if some underwear-wearing kid humped their kid! :-D


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