I’m pretty sure I live in an affluent area. 99.9% of the neighborhood looks affluent. The main street is packed with cutesy kids shops and organic grocery stores. Most kids run around on expensive scooters and I often hear moms chat about how affordable the $20 per hour babysitter is. Usually I fly under the radar with my daughter, Ali. I know if we foster a friendship with one of the upper-crust families our bank account will be quickly drained by classes, parties and general everyday activities. But, there is one place that seems to be untouched by its inhabitants’ civic reach: my local sprinkler. Some parks have installed new cool sprinklers that even I would want to run in. They have mist tunnels, spinning components that dump buckets of water and even tiny waterspouts you can aim at your friends. Needless to say, they’re cool.
Unfortunately my local sprinkler is nothing of the sort.
Our sprinkler has a small circle that spits about nine or so streams in a simple arc. The sprinkler isn’t even situated in a cool part of the park. It’s awkwardly off to the side of this bench area where it’s not even feasible to sit on the bench to watch your child in the sprinkler. I know we’re lucky that we even have a sprinkler, but the main issue isn’t the lame-ness of the sprinker’s location or limited spray. My issues is with the sprinkler’s patrons. There happens to be a group of young boys of about five or six years old who like to show up and run around the sprinkler in their underwear.
I know sometimes sprinkling happens spontaneously and there’s no time for bathing suits. I’ve been in a bind when we were walking past the park and Ali wanted to go in. I’ve relented and just let her run through the water. I didn’t peel off the layers and let her run around in her skivvies - I let her run around fully clothed. Sure, it wasn’t as fun dragging her home, but at least she was decent.
But I’m not talking about unplanned sprinkling here - these kids show up every week in their underwear.
There is no reason for this. I understand that some people can’t afford bathing suits. But if you show up at the sprinkler in a $600.00 stroller, I think you can spring for a $9.99 Old Navy bathing suit. I’ll even give you a coupon. Maybe you really don’t have money for a swimsuit? I’m the last one to get down on someone for not spending money. But can’t you just put your son in a normal pair of shorts and just let him run free? Maybe these boys simply like running around in their underoos? Who doesn’t? But there’s a reason you don’t see every kid running around in Fruit of the Looms in public - it’s inappropriate.
Misguided parent - let’s say I agree with you. OK, you’ve made the decision to let your son run around the sprinkler in his underwear. It’s your decision and nothing I can say or do is going to convince you otherwise. You believe your young son should be free to roam the streets in his underwear and no mommy blogger is going to stop him. Great, more power to you. But could you please, please for all of our sakes, put him in any other color than white? Navy underwear or grey would be perfect. I’m having a hard enough time trying to explain to my daughter what her body parts are. I really don’t need her getting a full frontal view of your son’s junk.