With the recent appearance of spring here in Chicagoland (FINALLY), we have spent a lot of time exploring the local park scene. My Guys love parks - slides, swings, a merry go round, climbing and exploring. And Mommy loves the naps/early bedtimes that spending lots of a time at a park results in.
What I do not love, is other people.
I have complied what I consider, the Official Snarky Momma Rules of the Park. Follow these and we can all have fun and I won't have to give you the rage glare of doom from behind my sunglasses.
1) Dress your child appropriately for the weather. This is sort of a "no shit" rule, however a couple weeks ago when we ventured to the park in 60+ degree weather there were kids at the park in full on winter coats, hats and gloves. What the shit people. After the winter we had here (big 'ol fuck you to the Polar Vortex!), 60 feels like goddamn summer. I dress my children the same way I am dressed (ok, they're not wearing yoga pants, but you know what I mean) which means that in 60 degrees they're wearing thing hoodies, pants, and their gym shoes. Not only would they get too warm in their winter coats, but they can't even really play at the park in them, they're too puffy. If you're not wearing a jacket as you sit on a bench and text, there's no reason that your child who is running around should be wearing one.
2) Ah yes, your phone. I understand that we all come to the park because it's somewhere we can let our children run free and not really worry about them too much and take sort of a mini-break but that doesn't mean you can completely checkout from the situation. I have helped many a child who was stuck at the park, or fell because their parents were too engaged in their phones to hear their kid calling for help. Sure, take a break and try to beat that awful level on Candy Crush while at the park, but make sure you're still aware of what's going on with your kid. Plus, when your kid calls out to you to watch them do something and you just ignore them you kind of look like a douchelord.
3) Teach your child how to properly use the playground equipment. My children, with their impeccable manners and consideration for others have been instructed that slides are for going down, not up and you should teach your children the same. Apparently this is a controversial view of mine, but for realz people. I can't tell you how many times My Guys have almost been injured because some jerkass kid was climbing up the slide while they were in the middle of going down. You wanna climb up the slide? Fine, do it when there aren't other kids who are waiting and wanting to use it the way God intended - for going down.
4) Make sure your children know how to wait their turns. Again, this is the sort of thing I thought was a "no shit" rule, but if your kid comes up and pushes one of mine in their attempts to get to something sooner I'm gonna be pissed. And yeah, I'm gonna tell your kid not to push others cause guess what - you shouldn't push people. I thought this was something we were all together on, but apparently not so much since your kid is shoving their way to the front of the slide line. That's not cool people, not cool at all.
5) If you're gonna bring food/snacks clean up after yourselves. Honestly, garbage cans are aplenty at the park, fucking use them.
6) Let your kid play on their own (if age/maturity/ability appropriate, obviously). If your kid is in good health and 4 he should be capable of walking up a ramp and going down a slide on his own. You don't need to follow him up on to the equipment to ensure his safety, let him try it on his own, he might surprise you.
7) Dress yourself appropriately too. It's a playground, not a fashion runway. Leave the heels and hat at home please, you'll do just fine with your yoga pants (if you feel the need, go ahead and even wear those $100 ones, I'll be rocking my Old Navy ones personally) and flip flops. This isn't a fashion competition, it's a playground. How the hell do you think you're going to do on the mulch in 4 inch heels?
I reserve the right to amend these rules at any time, or add to them as I see fit, but for now I think that covers the basics. Follow these rules and we can all have fun at the park. Don't, and risk my disgust and glares of hatred in your general direction.
More from parenting