Anyway, while I've been living the park life, I've began noticing these, seemingly fun filled parks, are actually hotbeds for awkward situations. For example, you have the awkward situation of packs of children, who come from a cornucopia (always wanted to use that word in my blog) of cultures, who are all incapable of sharing the nasty sand toys scattered around the park. I hate these moments because in one second your child will be innocently shoveling sand into a bucket, and then in the next second, some crazed, unattended kid, will come running over, yank the shovel out of her hands and run off. As soon as this happens, I always find myself doing the following: 1. I, immediately, think of a racial slur about the particular nationality of child who just broke my daughter's heart. (I'm not proud of this, but parks bring out the worse in mothers.) 2. I scan the park for the mother, who sired such a disappointment,and when I find her, I communicate through my searing eye contact, "I want you to know, that I know, that you know, that your child sucks." 3. I then steal another shovel from a kid, who's mom is most likely working a 9-6 job, Monday through Friday, and who's nanny is currently talking and laughing with the other over worked nannies. I figure this child is already dealing with development and abandonment issues, so really, what's another thing taken from him really going to do?
The next awkward situation is what do you do about kids, who are annoying the crap out of your kid? For example, the other day a particular little girl was semi-terrorizing my child. First, she pushed her off her swing, then pushed her through a tunnel, that she wanted to go through, and then screamed at her for not going down a slide fast enough. While this was going on her mother just sat underneath a pavilion talking to her friends. Initially, I tried to be nice by saying, "Hold on a second, Avery (my child) is just about through, and then you can go." But, then after the third incident I found myself fighting the urge to say, "Listen kid, you come within three feet of my child, I'll follow you home, hide in a closet, and then surprise attack you while you are watching Mickey Mouse Playhouse. I will. I'll do it." Fortunately, I didn't go down that path, but I did "gently" grab her arm and say, "Hey! Quit it." Am I proud of the fact that she stayed away from me and my child for the rest of the day and even seemed a little scared? Um, yes.
The last awkward situation comes from the fellow parents at the park. I don't know what vibe I'm giving off but parents have said some really strange things to me. The other day I was just watching my daughter climb up some stairs when a mother walked over to me and said, "My daughter wouldn't let me potty train her until she was four. Can you imagine that? Four years old and still in diapers?" At first, I thought she was talking to someone else, until I realized I was the only one there. And then before I could respond, she said, "But she is smart, just stubborn. For example, she tells me I need to lose weight." Now, I think I'm being punked. What? I just looked at her and said, "Kids." That's always my go to answer with the crazy parents. (And, sometimes I throw a shake of the head for added emphasis.) Some parent says, "Sorry my kid always tries to bite other kids at the park." Me: "Kids." Another crazy: "Is this your only kid? I have five. Four live with their father." Me: "Kids."
Oh, parks - how I love your child exercise equipment, and how I hate your community.