twitter facebook stumble upon rss

A Wild Walk in the Park

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

Lenore Moritz: The following paragraph should be read in your best Rod Sterling voice (he's the guy who introduced each episode of "The Twilight Zone"):

Kids playing on the slide

A quiet playground. A gorgeous spring day. A few kids under age 5 frolicking in the sun. Over the hill, a low rumbling sound wafts toward the baby swings. Parents look to the sky to see if it's thunder; a blue sky indicates that impossibility. The first sight of one of them is sweet: a face with a big smile from the euphoria of being free for a few minutes. Then, like a stampede, the rumble gets louder as the next 30 kids follow quickly on the heels of the first one, kicking up dry dirt as their running feet hit the play area. Suddenly, the recently mellow swings are being tugged and used in ways not intended, and taunts replace the calm. You have entered the Twilight Zone ... otherwise known as the world according to second graders.

That's how it was a few weeks ago at the playground across from the elementary school. The school has its own playground, but on this day the kids spilled over to the public park. I was there. It gave me some fascinating insight into what really happens when a pack of second-grade schoolmates do recess.

We parents don't often get the chance to see our kids in action during the school day, and now I know why: It's scary. It's "Lord of the Flies" meets "Mean Girls."

To my left were a group of girls and one boy playing house. The "parents" and "kids" were being ordered around by one very bossy 8-year-old. She demanded that the boy play the girl of the family, despite his pleas to play the boy. After a few more minutes of his begging, she caved. Then she flitted around, barking more commands to her "family" about what they could or couldn't say and do. She'll either grow up to be one hellacious boss, or move to a small, unorganized nation and take over as dictator.

In front of me, the dynamic of four boys went like this: unfriendly to each other, then nice, then wrestling, then three ganging up on one ... all in less than two minutes. When the teasing and headlocking of one boy seemed to be too much (for me, at least), I told him that didn't seem to be the right way to treat someone. The headlocker stopped and released. The headlockee took off, only to come back again a minute later for more. I really wanted to tell headlockee that there are better ways to get and keep friends, but at this point the teacher finally noticed what was going on and broke up the mayhem.

Towards the end of recess, one girl shoved her index finger in the face of a classmate and screamed, kind of accusingly, "Why do you wear glasses?!" The startled but unflappable eyeglasses-wearer replied frankly, "Because I need them." I wanted to coach her to add, "And because they make me look smarter than you," but I was too caught up in wondering why, with only four days left of the school year, the finger-pointing girl was just now noticing that her classmate wore glasses.

The most amazing thing happened when the teacher called them to line up to go back into the school: They did. These 8-year-olds went from being lawless to orderly in the blink of an eye. There was the mirror: the juxtaposition of our feral side (which we tend to suppress as adults) and our well-behaved side. Perhaps we'd all be better off if we had a little recess in our day ... and the resilience of a second grader.

next: 20 Impressive and Beloved Baby Shower Themes
155 comments so far | Post a comment now
buy digital camera March 21, 2011, 5:07 AM

I believe this can be fascinating and usually do not see posted usually. This is good data.

brewbot tassimo March 21, 2011, 5:11 AM

I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

gps device buy March 21, 2011, 6:08 AM

Hey! I’ve been browsing your site for some time. You have very useful posts. Nice job!

lg phone March 21, 2011, 6:38 AM

Here pretty fascinating post … lighting is so much a part of your talent, so it’s most interesting to see about how it was formed

tablet pc March 21, 2011, 1:22 PM

thanks for this awesome post

online head shop March 21, 2011, 2:05 PM

Just to let you know… your web page looks very strange in Mozilla on a Mac

phone 4g March 21, 2011, 3:44 PM

That is definitely great idea dude.iam definitely proud of you . Do u have twitter?? i want to abide by you .thx

gps portable buy March 21, 2011, 3:45 PM

My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

jerseys cheap buy March 21, 2011, 8:39 PM

Would you be all for exchanging links?

debt March 22, 2011, 4:31 AM

This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

snow boot shopper March 22, 2011, 7:34 AM

Hi, i think that i saw you visited my weblog thus i came to “return the favor”.I’m trying to find things to enhance my site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

bad credit loans car March 22, 2011, 8:02 AM

Whats up! I just wish to give a huge thumbs up for the good info you will have here on this post. I shall be coming back to your weblog for more soon.

tourism forum March 22, 2011, 8:23 AM

I think this is among the most vital information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general things, The site style is perfect, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

health fitness March 22, 2011, 11:08 AM

Really a great website! Just found this today and surely continue to look for updates.

nintendo 3ds forums March 22, 2011, 1:29 PM

See, its good to finally see somebody applying some reasonable logic to this. Thanks.

Job Finder March 22, 2011, 4:55 PM

I am so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

Air Jordan 4 Red March 22, 2011, 8:36 PM

I profit from coming defeat circadian to conscious of your thoughts. I compel ought to your attendant bookmarked on my common comprehend list!

millionaire savings calculator March 22, 2011, 10:22 PM

I will immediately grasp your rss feed as I can not in finding your email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly permit me know in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

Mercedes Forums March 23, 2011, 12:02 AM

Hey man I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to write something worth my time to read. I am all over the net and I see so much pointless content that is just created for the sake of putting something fresh on their page. It takes passion to create good stuff, thanks for caring.

video projector March 23, 2011, 8:15 AM

In case you don’t thoughts my asking, do you make great cash from this web site?

Back to top >>