Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I like going to the park. I do.

I thank God for parks. The chance to just throw your needs-to-expell-energy-kid in the car, a sippy cup of water, and your camera. Then you're good to go. It's free entertainment, and fresh air, and I like it. For her. And for me.

The thing is...I feel like there needs to be some general park etiquette in place sometimes. People live in their own little la-la lands, and perhaps I'm just way-too-intune with what's going down most the time? But, for serious, park-people. Watch your children.

One of the parks we go to has this tiny-little toddler playground, and then this massive, huge, awesome playground for the big kids. Honestly? If I were a 'big' kid I would want nothing to do with that tiny little nothing of a playground for the 'babies'. But, that's not the case here. It seems like these big honkin' kids always come a blazing through, practically knocking my little toddler girl over. And frankly, it's SO annoying.

The kids barely fit in this thing, yet they come pushing aside my little 2 foot nothing 15 month old? I get it. Kids are totally delusional to the outside world sometimes. But--please, go play on your amazeballs playground and leave us to the little dinky one, kthanksbye.

The playground bully. 


Too late.

And where are this kids parents, you might ask? On the bench. Both of them. Reading magazines, and playing on their phones. Not noticing a damned thing. 

He's the kid who climbs up the slide the wrong way, purposefully, as other kids are trying to slide down correctly. He's the kid who runs around with his fake gun out pointing it at other little kids saying things like "BAM! YOU'RE DEAD!" He's the kid who tells the other kids they aren't allowed in the higher tower, because it's all his. And sometimes? He's the kid who actually touches & hits other kids on the playground.

Well I call BS on that. 

I get it. Kids will be mean sometimes. And even right there in front of us at times. But this particular case I witnessed? The parents didn't even peak their eyes up from their magazines. They seemed disinterested to even glance up, let alone make sure he wasn't being a little jerk to the other kids.

Now, Eme is young. Almost too young to get bullied on, except--I've seen it in bits already. It makes my mom-claws wanna come out like whoa. My little girl is social. She adores other kids. She will wave, and say "hiiii!" to all the other children playing. So that older girl standing right next to her? Ignores her. And says, "I don't play with babies"  or tells her to "Move little girl!" in a sassy-5-year-old-tone, and for a split second I contemplate hurting a child. Not quite. But close. 


And most of all--will my kid turn out this way? Because, God, I hope not. 

And lastly--

The swings.

There is one baby swing at this park. So STOP PUSHING YOUR FIVE YEAR OLD IN IT. They are more than capable to sit in the regular swing.

And also? Five minutes, tops. If someone is waiting, this should be a no brainer. If your kid keeps asking for more? At some point you have to tell them another person is losing their mind waiting patiently for the swing, too.

See? The park?



  1. I get so frustrated with this too. It's like we all know why we ALL go to the park, but play with your kid!

    They need to be supervised, they need to have you help them learn to be nice to others, and seriously won't you feel like parent of they year when your kid breaks their arm because you aren't watching them on the monkey bars . . .some people ;)

    And all our sweet little ones want to do is explore and play with other kids . . . who knew is should be so stressful for a Momma!

  2. I can see how this would be super frustrating! Isn't it a pain how older kids are never interested in all the big kid stuff available to them? It's sad about the bully kid. There is a reason the bully kid is a bully, and that's because the parents on the bench do the same thing at home, so the kid runs amuck with no discipline. I want to slap those people.

  3. I completely agree! The swings kill me! I die when the older kids are in it and the parents won't stop pushing them for the little ones to have a turn. It's so freaking hot here so there haven't been many kids at the park when we go, but Fall might bring a different story. Well, winter by the time we get cooler! :)

    And you could probably do an entire new post on if it's ok to tell these little "terrors" something!

  4. It's like those parents assume that the other people who are there actually spending time with their children will play babysitter for the whole park. Irresponsible people make me crazy!

  5. I was going to do a post EXACTLY like this one!! We go to the park almost every day, and yesterday I was going to strangle some older kids. We're talking 15 years old- older. Two girls sitting right SMACK in the middle of the whole thing, texting and gossiping, and blocking my girls from enjoying the playground. Two other teen girls sitting on the see saw talking about SEX!!!! I had to say something to both sets of girls. My blood pressure is rising just typing it!!! Errrr

  6. Kids can be so mean, but I truly believe it's because of parents like those that are just sitting on the bench and not using it as teaching opportunities. Also? Those kids had to learn how to be mean from someone and my guess is their parents... Of course Emeline is not going to turn into a mean girl. No way.
    PS: I love your new blog design! So cute!

  7. I can relate. There is no reason for the big kids to be in the little kid area, but 9 times out of 10 that is exactly where they are. So frustrating! I also cannot stand when "pb" picks on the kids and the parents notice and DO NOT CARE! Okay, that's enough from me lol.

  8. So I'm not alone in my park and other kids anger? Awesome. Incident this weekend...not at a park, but at a bday party. Some 5 year old girl kept tackling my Mia on the trampoline like it was afreakin' MMA cage match. glad she got out when she did. Um parents, see your kid tackling my kid...not cool.

  9. Right!? Luckily, we don't see this often at the parks we frequent. In 3 yrs of park excursions we've only had to deal a handful of times. But it does something to a momma. I am not a confrontational person; to short or tall peeps. But when it comes to my kids happiness and safety, you bet I'm the lion in sheeps clothing.

  10. Oh my gosh I feel you on this so much! Especially the big kids on the little kids playground running my kid down! It drives me absolutely nuts!! And people who don't watch their kids and just let them run around and do whatever they want to irritates me so much... and my son loves other kids too. He'll just stand there and stare at them and point at them and make his little noises to try to get them to play with him and on those occasions that they won't play with him just kills him! He gets so sad and it makes me want to freak out on those other kids who are being mean to my little man! He's there to have fun too!

  11. We're lucky that no one is ever at the park by our house. The pool however is another story. Apparently it's cool to let your kid run amuck, steal the water toys from my baby and then practically hit him in the face with their kickboard. Fun times.

  12. Oh this drives me CRAZY! We spend close to every afternoon at a park, rain or shine. The most irritating thing to me is the climbing UP the slide. When I first started taking Elaina, over a year ago, my voice was on repeat "we climb UP the stairs and go DOWN the slide!" Shocking, but she learned quickly! Now, I'm trying to teach Nickolai. One of our parks has a Xylaphone in one of the small towers that is meant to be played w/ a stick (how stupid is encouraging running around w/sticks?!) and that's a constant battle. Trying to teach no hitting, stealing, dropping the stick when done playing and taking turns. Yowza. I'm not a helicopeter Auntie and maybe it's b/c Nick is still pretty wobbly, but I never sit at the park! I look forward to the day that I can sit for a second! Haha! Oh, and this may or may not be a surprise but I have NO PROBLEM calling out a bratty & unruly child. In an adult manner, of course, but put these babies in danger? I'll choke you out! Kidding. Kinda.

  13. my 3 year old is totally social also, and sometimes he goes up to kids to talk and they totally ignore him. I want to go up and grab that kid by the collar and say
    "hey genius! are you deaf? my kid is trying to talk to you! Have some decency and at least acknowledge him!"

    I fear this may happen one day.

    However, you know what is even WORSE??? Is when we are at the grocery store and my 3 year old waves and says hi to ADULTS and the ADULTS totally just walk by and ignore him. I actually HAVE said something to the tune of "say hi louder Gunner and maybe she/he will hear you then."

  14. I could have written this. Today, Eva got squirted in the face with a watergun by a 8 or 9 year old on the toddler climber. When every.single.other.mother at the park was sitting under the shade pavilion on the picnic tables. I swear, a park full of kids and I was the ONLY mom playing with my kid - maybe because I was the only mom there with a kid who can't walk .. but still. I don't know if I'm just overly sensitive, but I always feel like the park we go to is cliquey. Every time I have gone, it seems all the picnic tables are taken and there are groups of people there. It's hard because it's not my neighbourhood. I have to drive to town to go to the park. And I rarely am there with another mom/kids. Just me and Eva. So I feel weird when all these kids/moms who know each other are hanging out and I'm sliding down the slide with my kid. LOL

  15. That is exactly how it is at the park by my house! The older kids playing (rough housing and cursing) in the kiddie playground DRIVES me crazy!!!

  16. Yep. Totally agree. When we took Noah to Monkey Joe's? All the big kids kept coming and going crazy in the toddler area. And the mom didn't do a thing. The employees kept having to ask the kids to leave. Ridiculous.

  17. I haven't really taken my boys to the park much yet but I did take them to Chuck E Cheese.. and you know the toddler area?! Well, big kids were playing in there and knocked down my 14 month old. My mom claws did come out because first I yelled at the kid and 2nd I yelled at the dad that just sat there and watched. So, I just CAN'T wait to tale them to the park.

  18. I am not the type of person to just keep my mouth shut. It's a problem really. If a kid were pointing a gun at my child (even a fake one) I would tell them not to. I don't care if parents shouldn't be involved, there is a time and place and guns are that time in my opinion.

    I am not the overbearing type, I am a disciplinarian. If my kid is out of line, I'll tell him to knock it off and apologize. I expect the same from other parents. If they don't stand up to the plate? I do it for them. Even with my niece and nephew or a stranger. I can't stand rude children. I also always thank an older child if they are kind to my little guy.

    I believe a village raises a child and I'm a part of that village.

    P.S. That swing thing pisses me off too. It's kids like that that will grow up to be spoiled brats and it makes me dislike their parents immediately.

  19. I've been reading your blog for a while it!

    I don't even have kids yet and this makes me mad! The worst part is that these kids learn their behaviors from their rude parents!

  20. I've done the older kids and the toddlers at the park and as a parent it is a totally different approach. My 11, 10, and 8 year old really need minimal supervision. I sit and watch what they are doing but they are well behaved and no to be careful with little ones so I mainly let them play. The twins I used to nanny for I used to stay right with them since they were too little to play completely independently without getting hurt.

    Another thing, my oldest was a biter from 18 months to 2 years old. I know he was a biter and despite all my attempts to stop it he still did it so you better believe I covered him like a hawk in this stage. If you know your kid might act like a jerk please try to prevent it.

    Happy park playing!

  21. We haven't been to the park here in a while because A) it's too frackin' hot and B) the last time we went to the big one near us we had an incident with a big kid whose parents were NOWHERE to be seen and I'm just not up for parenting more kids than my own...

    Can I say that this was a cute post? Because it was... ha!

  22. I really don't have that many problems at our local parks. I swear it's the fancy ones that breed ass-hole-ery.

    I'll admit it, I'm a hovering mom. I like to be there when she comes down the slide (to catch her if need be). I like to push my kid in a swing. I like to help her climb if she needs it, or just stand there and watch if that's what she wants.

    I totally don't get it when parents just park their asses on the benches. Better yet, when you happen to go to the park at the same time as some day-care park program break time. So many of the counselors/workers ignore what's going on because they pretend it's their break rather than the kids'. GAH!

    Like you my daughter is super social, but I think I understand how older kids don't really want anything to do with younger kids at times. Alexa wanted NOTHING to do with babies until she was 2, and even now she prefers the big kids. I think we all do...up to a point...want to be around those more mature than us. It's the circle of life or something :-) I still don't want her to be mean to ones that look up to her!

  23. I so totally agree..not only at parks but resturant play areas too. My kids have tried to get away with some of those things & I have nipped it in the bud pronto!!
    Oh & if Em ever said anything to my 6 yr old little boy he would stop and hug her & play with her. He so LOVES little kids and babies.
    I hope your next trip to the park is more pleasant!! :)

  24. I don't have kids yet but I totally agree with your etiquette points. Kids really need to have some kind of supervision, even at the park, and be taught how to play with others. I guess the parents think it's their break time or something and don't care what the kids do. And that's really sad.

  25. Thank you for this!! I took my lil man to an indoor playground the other day and seriously was about to freak out on the child bully.

  26. Katie,

    ha! I remember the first time we took my son Ryder to the park. I was all expecting it to be a "magical" experience, and my husband and I left, shocked that there are parents out there that truly don't give a care about their kids!

    We pull up and the baby play area is empty, so we go to the swings. whatdoyaknow.. the 6 year old bratty girl comes running over to steal the swing we were just about to go on. No biggie.. we go to the humpty dumpty slide. Here she comes again, as her lazy mom gabs away on her phone like there's no tomorrow. Free babysitting by the other parents I guess?

    It was highly annoying and it was pur first taste of "parkettiquette" and after that we just laughed bc sure enough, there was always the annoying rowdy older kid being unsupervised.


  27. HA!!! AWESOME!!

    Reese is only 9 weeks old but now I am SO excited for the park-age...hehe.

  28. Amen!

    You know what else drives me crazy? The poor kid who desperately wants a parent's attention, but knows that his/her parent is not giving any so he/she bugs you the entire time. Now, I love kids, but seriously? I know you're not actually batman and I only have so much patience today. Go bug your own mom!

  29. I completely agree with this entire post!! I recently had to get on to a 10 yr old at Chickfila for going up the slide instead of down. And then later ran past my kid in a tube and knocked him down.