Ugh…if I am being honest…sometimes, I HATE the park. I am a free-range parent, meaning, I let my girls explore and play without hovering over them. (within reason)
I can’t tell you how many times other parents have run over to my kids to help them up the mini rock wall…when really, my girls are physically capable! I try to remain patient at all times with these parents, as they are just thinking they saved my child’s life…but some days, I am just not in the mood!
I LOVE this article from Nikki…Enjoy!
by Nikki Pennington | staff writer for The Snap Mom
The dreaded park. It’s filled with littles who don’t wash hands, unsupervised children wandering into moving swings and bullies. I see you over there on the phone, mom. You just missed it, but your child just shoved a handful of dirt in his mouth. No need for lunch now. Group of moms over there socializing, yup, one of your children just jumped off the very top of that slide. I see a trip to the ER coming soon. See that child over there; she just threw sand in her own face. Note to self: avoid the sandbox. Now we are just waiting for her mom to run over there. Oh wait, where is her mom? Who does this child belong to? Oh my goodness, did her mom just leave her here? Probably not, but that’s the thought process I go through very quickly while at the park. If you are a regular park mom, you become very familiar with the types of children you will see at the park on any given day. Here are four types you have probably already seen.
1. The Wanderer
You can’t really be sure which mom this child belongs to. He or she has been wandering from mom to mom since you arrived. He or she will come up to you and might even sit beside you and give you a big hug. You awkwardly hug back while scoping out the scene to see if a mom is coming your way for this child. Nope, not a mom in sight. This child will also want the snacks you have for your own child. Once he or she is full or had enough hugs, off the child goes, onto the next mom.
2. The Sand- and Dirt-Eater
From a distance, this child appears to be simply “playing” in the dirt or sand. Once you approach you will see the sand and dirt is clearly all over his or her mouth and face. Basically, the child is covered in it and is shoving it in his or her mouth with both hands. You slowly usher your own child away because the sand- and dirt-eater likes to teach others how enjoyable it is to do the same.
3. The Swing Hogger
Seriously, you’ve patiently been waiting. All your sweet child wants to do is get on the swing. Honestly, your child will be over it in about five minutes and want down. However, there is a child that is on the swing who apparently never wants to get down. The swing hog is usually talking loudly and screaming, “This swing is so much fun! Best swing ever!” He or she usually gets off the swing just as you are ready to leave.
4. The Terrified Slider
There she goes; mommy is ushering her up the stairs to the slide. “Go on, honey, don’t be scared.” You hold your child back because you know this little sweetie is about to start putting it in reverse to go back down the stairs. If anyone is behind her, it will cause a state of pure panic, and a meltdown will ensue. She makes it to the top, but you know what is going to happen next. Now she is too high up, too scared to go back down the stairs and too scared to go down the slide. Now nobody is going down the slide. You begin to help her mom encourage her down. “Noooooo! I’m not coming down!” This usually lasts about five minutes. Finally mom is defeated and begins to go up the stairs. This is usually the point where the child goes down the slide.
I honestly love watching children play at the park, running around with all their different little personalities. It’s so funny. I have to admit that my own children fall into some of these categories. Even so, a park is a place to let loose and have fun. It’s also the best place to go and gear up for naptime! Have you encountered any of these types of children at the park? Maybe you could even add some to the list?
About the writer:
Nikki is a stay at home mom to three high spirited boys. Three years ago she became a motherless daughter after losing her own mom to terminal brain cancer. When she is not playing the role of referee for the boys, she spends her days trying to encourage and inspire others that are on the grief journey.