Playground Problems


I had a surge of energy the other day so the family and I decided to take a walk to the park. I figured it would be a pretty relaxing day but it turned into a test of my patience.

Ali had been playing nicely on the slides and decided she wanted to play in the water fountain instead. There were two small boys playing there already so I figured it was fine but Dan wasn’t really into it. Ali headed over to the fun and just as she reached up to push the button this little boy swatted her hand away.

At first I though: “Did he just touch her?” Maybe Ali accidentally touched him and he was returning the favor? I couldn’t be sure so I let it slide. Then Ali moved over to the other faucet and he swatted her hand again. Oh No you didn’t! At this point I wanted to see what Ali would do in the situation. I was secretly hoping she would punch him in the face and tell him to get the hell off, but then remembered she really hasn’t had to much exposure to punching, maybe she could karate kick him? Either way this boy needed to be beat, and his parents, who were standing three feet away, weren’t going to be the ones to give it to him.

Ali started whining after the second swat so I took her aside and said, not too quietly, “Ali next time someone does that you scream as loud as you can ‘Don’t touch me!” OK?’ With my hormones I’m lucky I didn’t pepper that phrase a little more colorfully, like: “Get your goddamn hands off me!” But cooler heads prevailed.

Ali headed back over and after ten seconds the little crap swatted her hand away again. This time Ali went into a full on fit and we decided it was best not to play by the fountains anyway. All the while his parents were just sitting there chatting not worried that their son is an asshole. Dan isn’t too big on confrontation but those parents got the wrong end of his death stare - which is pretty intense coming from him. 

What was his mother thinking? I’ll admit that if Ali swatted someone once I would probably just ignore the first one and hope no one saw (I’m only human) but if she swatted a second time you better bet she’s getting a talking to. I’m not asking you to scream at the kid, but a simple “Hey! Don’t touch” would have really helped the situation.

Am I supposed to reprimand someone else’s child? I wanted to smack the kid across the face and yell “How do you like it when strangers hit you?” Or at least smack the mother for that matter. Sorry I’ve got enough to worry about with my own kids, I’m not here to babysit yours. But my brand of parenting would be to kick him in the shins. If you’re not happy with that kind of punishment I suggest you step in next time and take care of the situation yourself.

My anger didn’t last long, not two minutes after we walked away the kid fell an smacked his head on a bench. I’m not one to rejoice in other’s pain but hey, Karma is a bitch.