17 May 2011

Playgrounds and the Mommy Brigade

You know, I'm starting to think that insecurity is the cause of a good chunk of problems in the world. Or at least in the 1st world. The Mommy Brigade seems to be a huge ball of insecurity that just rolls over people, adding them to the ball. I try to duck and cover.

This morning, I had Crackle to the playground while Pop was at his play therapy group. I was once again struck by the snooty parents. When did adults stop talking to each other and start just sizing each other up? Or is a local thing? First, there's the check out look. You know, the look up, look down, look up again, sneer. First they do that to you, then to your kid. And then they watch, for the slightest violation of the rules of the playground. The unwritten rules, that is. The written rules can be violated at will. For example, there are two structures at that playground. One is labelled for kids 5-12. The other, for kids 2-12. Crackle was on the bigger one, and he passed by a little guy of about 18 months. He sorta winged him with his arm. The toddler didn't budge, didn't seem to even notice. But his mom's head snapped my way to see if I was going to say anything to Crackle. I didn't, and she gave me the disapproval look - pursed lips, impatient sigh and then shook her head at me. WTF?

It's really hard not to be a bit of a misogynist when these are the only women one meets in a day. But then there are the dads. And they make me realize that it's not just women. Parents, in general, suck. FFS. If I speak to you because we're standing there together awkwardly, and I say, "Sure is nice to have a warm day, finally, isn't it?" the correct answer is "Yeah, it is. I like getting out to the park". The incorrect answer is "I have a wife". I like to reply, "So do I. What's your point?" I don't, obviously, but it tends to throw them for a bit of a loop.

And for crying out loud, if you're teaching your kids to share, and take turns, and all those other good socialist things, try to model it. If you're reading a book with your kids and another kid comes by to check it out, it would not kill you to turn the book so the other child can look too. Shooting his mother a dirty look for allowing her child to intrude on your teaching moment will earn you a snort of derision and little more. (And seriously? A book at the playground? A book about the dangers of strangers? Okay... go to it. Yeah, I can judge too, but at least I wasn't an asshole to her or her kids).

And people wonder why I don't like to take the kids to the park.


Anonymous said...

My mom seethes when she runs into rude parents at the YMCA ... WTF is up with that? Be nice! It's a good example.

Luna said...

Yup. It's no wonder there are so many rude children.

(And yay! Your comment got through!)