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.
I hate the park.
What would you have done?
What would you have done?
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