“10 Playground Requirements + My Personal Hell” ‘Mommy Of The Year’ Guest Blog!
I love my friends….. all of them. I love them for their distinctive lives and their diverse perspectives. This guest blog is from my friend, Justine. She’s amazing! Incredibly smart, pretty and now a mom of two (count them TWO!) little boys. This is her blog and her perspective on parenting. I really admire her courage, tenacity, and her sense of humor. I know all about this post– while I have a daughter, I know about the social realm of being a parent on a playground!
Here’s how she describes her job:
This is the boss!
I am a full time stay at home mother. That is my job, and if I am being honest, most days my job sucks.
My boss is an asshole. He is currently three years old and this jerk thinks the sun, moon and stars revolve around his every whim. The company recently took on a managing partner, he is currently 10 months old and while he is very sweet, this guy is sort of useless and a major drain on resources so far as I can tell. The big boss seems to hate him most of the time, (except of course when he is an asset to his agenda) so the morale here can be quite low. In addition to the infighting among upper management my boss seems to be going through some sort of life crisis that makes him extraordinarily unpredictable and moody. One minute he is lavishing me with praise, the next he is literally telling me to wipe his ass. Frankly, it’s become a hostile work environment.
It’s a pretty lonely job. There is not a lot of interaction with people outside of work. I do have a co-worker, he’s mostly a nice guy but he is part time so I get stuck doing most of the grunt work. I won’t lie though, it is a bit of a boys club and it seems to me that sometimes my co-worker thinks I also work for him!
Every day I think I’ve weathered the worst, that things can only improve but lately I’ve been wrong. People keep asking why I stay. I’ve been told I could easily go back to my old career, trust me it is tempting. I miss tailored clothes and pretty shoes. I miss lunches out and I really miss happy hour. I stay because the pay is incredible. The benefits package is pretty good too, despite the stingy vacation policy. Mostly I stay because this is actually my dream job and it took me a long time to land it. I know that I will be rewarded in the end, but right now I am seriously paying my dues.
From ” Mommy of the Year”, Justine
10 Playground Requirements and My Personal Hell
It is well documented that I loathe the park (by park I mean parks with playgrounds). I hate taking my kids to playgrounds for a variety of reasons, least of which is the sand in my shoes. I tolerate some parks better than others. The playground is easily the most accurate microcosm of parenting society therefor, depending on your parenting style a certain park may be preferable over others. Today I went to my least favorite park and was reminded precisely why it is my least favorite. It fails on every aspect of my 10 items a park should or should not have:
1. A fence ideally surrounds the playground so little ones can’t escape and run into the street or into the expanse of the park.
2. The playground, fence or not, should not be located within 10 yards of the street…consider what happens if a car accidently careens toward the park!?
3. The (often) 2 play structures should be close enough together that one parent can see both her younger child AND her older child while standing in between the 2 structures.
4. The “big kid” play structure should be high enough for big kids but still low enough that a smaller child (who inevitably will follow the big kid) can play on it without a potential 6-foot drop to the ground (i.e. the structure shouldn’t have enormous gaping openings at every turn – who designs these things base jumpers?).
5. Tube slides are a bad idea, nothing good happens in tube slides. They are a mecca for troublemakers to hide in like the human equivalent of black widow spiders in a sand box.
6. Speaking of sandboxes…sand is completely unnecessary and if utilized should be done so minimally…the only thing worse than sand is mulch. Have you ever tried to get mulch off a sweater? Just throw it away.
7. Swings should be set back away from play structures by at least 100 feet. Small kids and fast reflexes are not a typical combination…ask me how many times my kids have been clobbered by swinging feet at what seems like 30 miles-an-hour?
8. It’s a park and a playground…ample parking would be awesome. I didn’t come here to hike with my two young children.
9. Schools usually have their own playground. Parks need not locate their playgrounds close to elementary schools thereby inviting the entire populous of the school to descend upon said park at 3pm.
10. If I have said it once I have said it 100 times…BATHROOMS at the park…try telling a 4 year old that has to pee to wait until we get home…when a 4 year old has to pee, he has to pee NOW.
In addition to the fact that my least favorite park fails on all of the above points, (miserably I might add) it also attracts the most irritating, obnoxious and intolerable parents and children en masse. This is the park where I first heard the name “Trainer”. That should give you an idea but it gets better, or worse depending on your perspective. For some reason this park seems to attract only the children who climb UP slides. Never down…never ever down. There are 4 slides at this park and for the entire hour I was there I did not see one single child go DOWN a fucking slide. Now, I am not so uptight that kids can’t climb up a slide, but when there are children that want to go down (in this case they were mine) then you must stop climbing up. Also, it is not the safest and MAYBE a parent might want to point out to their shitty kid that he is being a shit by climbing up the slide for an hour.
Every child, and I mean every child at this park could be mistaken for a homeless child, if not for the fact that they arrived in a Mercedes and many attend the school beside it, which has a price tag of 26k per year. Lest you think I am exaggerating let me describe what one 6-year-old boy was wearing. Faded red sweat pants that were cut off mid calf. No shoes. A tattered greying/white sweatshirt with a hole at the neck. He had dreadlocks. They left in an Infinity SUV. His name was Wesson. Then there are the kids that clearly aren’t getting enough attention at home. In the case of one particular child he was clearly getting some sort of Yoga training at the ripe age of 8. How did I gather this information? Well he stood on one of the teeter totters balancing and doing poses that looked yoga-ish and when that didn’t generate enough attention he began chanting in something that sounded somewhat like a Buddhist chant but was most likely gibberish. I hate that kid…that kid is an intolerable adult in the making. And finally, the sand sprinkler child. This child was at least creative in his sand throwing approach. He would grab to fists full of sand and stand up, arms out to his side and then spin around letting the sand fly in circles around him making sure that he hit as many children in his radius as possible.
All of the above happened within one hour (less actually) and not ONE parent off the bench to stop these behaviors. Not ONE parent even looking up from his or her iPhones. It is this fact that makes me actually feel bad for these kids, if not for just a moment until “Lyric” comes running by in a nightshirt and nothing else.
On the upside these parents don’t seem to even notice when your 4 year old runs to the nearest tree, pulls down his pants and pees…because THERE ARE NO BATHROOMS!
Follow Mommy of the Year:
Much appreciation (lots of love as well) to Justine, Mommy of the Year! She’s amazing.
Justine, check out Sunday’s post on cocktails (or the entire 2 weeks of Christmas for innumerable cocktails). It will help!
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