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Ten Reasons I Hate the Park

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One mom tells us why.

Mom and child in the park

momlogic's Jenny: Look. There is nothing I love more than spending time watching my son explore the world and make discoveries. And whenever we have free time, I am the first one to say "Let's go to the park!" This weekend, however, as I shielded my son from a kid who's snot looked so green, I thought he had been slimed, I realized I don't exactly love the park. I'll of course keep taking him to the park, but there are just a few things that put me on edge every time I go:

1) Birds. Any time there are remnants of goldfish and graham crackers, you can expect to see birds. Problem is, I hate birds. Unfortunately, my son is obsessed with these little f***ers and the rest of the kids at the park seem to be as well. And -- God forbid -- we leave a crumb or trace of snack behind, those vultures swoop in and plop right down on his overpriced stroller and make themselves at home. Vomit.

2) The park makes me feel fat. My son is too young to climb the jungle gym and go down the slide himself . Well, since I was alone with him and couldn't just send him down by himself, I had to go down with him. My fat ass was literally wedged into the slide as I pushed and shifted cheek by cheek trying to get down. I could feel all the other mommies watching ... Which leads me to #3.

3) "Park Mommies." I see you park mommies. I see you looking at me. What you're thinking when you look at me sympathetically, I have no idea. But as you call your darling Madisons and Coopers over to your bench while you take out your elaborate snack spread (as my son notices a cigarette in the sand box), I'm not sure if I want to ask you for a play date or punch you in the face.

4) Snot buckets. Why, oh, WHY would you bring your kid to a park when his snot is so green and his cough is that of an 80-year-old smoker?! Just because we're outdoors doesn't mean it's not contagious! And why, if your kid is suffering from what seems like the bubonic plague, would you let him come over and touch (i.e. yank!) my son's pail and shovel? Gross!

5) Sand = poop. The playground in our neighborhood is very lovely in comparison to some of the parks in this city. However, that doesn't mean that animals refrain from pooping and peeing in the sandbox. If you think I'm horrified when a bird comes near my stroller, please imagine how I felt when my son proudly picked up a piece of petrified poo out of the sandbox and said "Ball!" Double vomit.

6) Weirdos. If you don't have a kid with you, you shouldn't be sitting inside the gated playground. Period. That goes for the little old ladies, too. (They're half the reason why the park looks like a friggin' aviary with their bags of bread crumbs. Yuck!)

7) Plumber's crack. It ain't pretty but every time I go to the park, everyone gets to see my ass. I do my best to wear long shirts and pull my pants up, but without fail, my thong almost always hangs out when I play with my little guy. Frankly, it's not my fault, though. They shouldn't have those steps so friggin' low, making me squat like I'm peeing in the woods.

8) Swings. This is not really the park's fault per se, but my son isn't interested in going in the swings, he's just interested in jetting towards the big kids who could care less that a toddler half their size could get knocked over by their force. Bringing me to #9.

9) Rude kids. I don't know what it was about the crop of kids at the park on Saturday, but some of the kids were downright rude. My son walked up to two little girls near the slide and said "Hi! hi!" It was the cutest thing I'd ever seen, until he said it again and they just ignored him. Annoyed that these little brats didn't respond, I said sweetly, "Aw, I think he wants to say hi to you." They looked at me, and ignored me, too. Bitches.

10) Thieves. Without fail, I always leave the park with one shovel less. It's like the mysterious sock monster in my dryer, only at the park, the "monster" is your kid. Seriously though, if you're going to allow your kid to come up and steal our toys without offering to share yours, then at least return it when you're done ... Actually, don't. I don't know where your kid has been.

28 comments so far | Post a comment now
Trudy January 20, 2009, 6:53 AM

Hilarious & sooo true!

Anonymous January 20, 2009, 10:09 AM

low rise thong?

ash January 20, 2009, 11:37 AM

I think we could be anti-park mommy friends..because everything you’ve put here? My sentiments exactly!

Anonymous January 20, 2009, 11:44 AM

Are park mommies the same as soccer moms?

Anonymous January 20, 2009, 4:35 PM

Sounds like you might want to send Daddy to the Park instead!

ame i. January 20, 2009, 5:21 PM

I don’t hate the park, but can come up with a handful of reasons to dislike it somewhat. My daughters are now 9 and 11, so some things no longer apply to them but I remember:
1) Having to “police” the behavior of other children. Some moms are too busy socializing, reading, or staring off into space to see their child is annoying or throwing mulch at other children. I always gave the mom of the offender “1st dibs” at correcting her child, but I didn’t hesitate to tell another kid to knock it off.
2)Parents who didn’t tell their kids to walk the 10 feet to the trash cans to toss trash inside instead of dropping it where they stood.
3) Older kids who were either dropped off by their parents or walking over on their own. Besides the colorful language and graffiti left in the bathrooms (Lauren got high for the first time in the bathroom on Oct. 3, 2007, ya know, and she LUVD it!!) some would eye the snacks and drinks I brought along for my own kids, declare how HUNGRY they were, and even ask for money for the drink machines.
Because my girls are older now, they don’t need snacks unless we are going to be there for more than a couple of hours, and the water bottles they prefer now over softdrinks saves me a bit of trouble. My kids are just as apt to tell another kid to knock it off nowadays as I am. We spend more time on the walking trail than on the actual playground.

Laurel January 20, 2009, 8:54 PM

i’m tired of the older kids taking over the playgrounds designed specifically for younger kids. worrying whether or not my 2 year old is going to be flattened by a herd of 8 year olds playing tag is not why i come to the park.

Mark. January 20, 2009, 9:32 PM

1. You are hilarious!
2. Don’t wear thongs to the park, Jenny. I mean, no offense, but, “duh.”
3. People, in general, are a**holes.
4. When you see a mean kid, well, we teachers have a saying; “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

edskid January 20, 2009, 9:53 PM

Come on ladies! If our kids aren’t exposed to strange and unfamiliar things, how can they judge and discriminate situations and people. And really nobody cares if you are fat and can’t fit down the damn slide—you should only care if your child is happy and enjoying YOUR interaction.

Stay at home Dad

Tim January 20, 2009, 10:06 PM

What an incredibly self-absorbed, bourgeois piece of tripe.

SAHD canucker January 20, 2009, 10:27 PM

This is truly funny and so god damn true. Here where I am it is NOT kosher to be a stay at home dad and I am looked down upon by all the mommy ‘cliques’ here. They come in bringing their rude kids that have ZERO manners and they think their little f*cking brats can get together with the other arrogant and ignorant offspring from the other white trash mum’s and rule everything @ the park or library. I totally feel you on this article.

rebecca January 20, 2009, 10:45 PM

can you complain anymore??? if you dislike it sooooooo much do not go there.. stay in your house…i mean.. finding birds to be an issue.. i think you need to rethink a few things

MIranda January 20, 2009, 11:50 PM

I totally agree with this article, I am also tired of picking up after other people, we live in a small town, with just one park, and when I take my kids there, I walk around the playground to pick up anything that can harm my kids.

Peggy January 21, 2009, 12:16 AM

I love this article! The same thoughts apply to the indoor playplaces. We’ve adjusted our living room so we can play ball and balloons inside, we take the cushions off the couch and jump on the springs and we’ve brought the tricycle inside. We’ve got lot’s off snow and we won’t see the playgrounds for months.

Lindsey January 21, 2009, 12:21 AM

I love all the negative comments, I guess some of your comments hit too close to home. Just remember, your son will be a strong, confident and caring young man and those other children, well lets just say…
“Would you like fries with that?”

Chxintrees January 21, 2009, 1:44 AM

My biggest pet peeve at the park is moms who are terribly over-protective of their kids - usually first time moms who need a reality check.

denise January 21, 2009, 12:21 PM

I so agree with everything. I am a mom of 4 girls, ages 16 to 3. Your no.9 is my personal favorite. This summer we went to the zoo and my youngest came stroller to stroller with another little girl at a grizzly exhibit.My daughter repeatedly said “HI!” to this other kid who snubbed her. Well, the mama grizzly came out in me and before I could stop myself, I said “it’s okay , sweetie, if she is too mean to say hi, don’t waste your time on her”.
Needless to say, this provoked a shocked expression from the mom. I must have returned a don’t-mess-with-me type of look, because she quickly apologized and made her daughter say hello. Here’s the deal, Moms: if you hear another child trying to engage with yours, be a parent and tell your child to return the greeting. It’s never too early to start teaching kindness. If you don’t encourage it, who will?

Joe O'Bobson January 21, 2009, 2:49 PM

Wow. Really got to agree with Tim here. I grew up in a neighborhood where my mom had to search not just the park, but our own backyard for intravenous needles. You’re seriously worried about birds and cat poop? Be thankful you’re lucky enough to live in a neighborhood not built on a county dump, and your kids aren’t going to grow up playing “Buried Treasure” digging below the containment sediment. To think I was thankful that we had a park at all.

karen January 22, 2009, 1:09 PM

gah! i know! the one that gets me the most is the parents who are oblivious to their children’s bad behavior. a friend and i went to the park with our kids, and we spent about twenty minutes convincing our kids to go down the slide, not climb up. lo and behold, as soon as they got the idea, a girl comes with her mom and dad, and immediately starts climbing the slide. so what do our kids do? yup, climb the slide. so we’re over there telling our kids for the billionth time, IN FRONT OF this other kid’s parents, how we want them to slide down, not climb up, because someone can get hurt, and they just stand there, sipping their coffees, not saying a word about their hooligan kid being a bad influence… or maybe i’m just a nerd…

Martin January 24, 2009, 4:02 PM

stop sheltering kids, yes they need protection but for f sake. This is the character building all kids desire, little boys crave it. Don’t get me wrong, you sound a good laugh and more than likely a fantastic mum..cut the dude some slack though.
Funny article!

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