I was at the park today with my friends, Pam and Rinnie. We were registering our kids for swim lessons – which is a crazy experience in and of itself! You see, these particular swim lessons are very sought out because they are so inexpensive and have a long, respected history in Orlando. It has become such a phenomenon that the staff has resorted to a lottery method in deciding who gets in a class!
So, I am standing there today waiting for my name to be called (which I was choosen at #34, by the way) and I kept having flash backs to tryouts for cheerleading. Where you are standing there wishing, “Oh, please pick me! Please call my name!”
It was crazy! I did get in, thankfully, because we took the last spot for Nicholas’ level.
Anyway, back to my original thought for this post. While we were waiting for the lottery to begin, we went to the playground. I am always so nervous when it comes to playgrounds and possible kid conflict issues! I mean where else do you have several kids playing together that have never met each other before and you don’t know their parents or how they let their children behave?
So, right away this kid starts fighting with my friend, Rinnie’s daughter, Lauren over a swing. He pushes on her and everything. My friend, Pam yells out telling him to stop. And I see, Natalie start getting defensive of her little friend, Lauren. She kind of sasses back at him some. Which edges him on more. So, I go over to intervene and tell them both to stop arguing and find something else to do while they wait their turn. After more antagonizing and bullying from this boy, I eventually decided to find his mom.
Yikes!!! I couldn’t believe what I was thinking! Go tell his mom?! I don’t even know who it is! How is she going to respond! What am I going to say! Well, before I could think twice about it, I asked this boy, “Where is your mom?”
Next thing you know, I am walking over there (my heart beating triple time) and I say, “I’m sorry. I hate to have to say something, but your son is bullying the kids over at the swing. I tried talking to him and telling him to find something else to do, but he kept on.” To which she responded, “Well, what was he doing?” And I am thinking, “What did he do? uh…uh…” But thankfully, I was able to articulate that he was pushing, threatening to hit, and antagonizing the girls.
She did apologize and had the kid sit out for a bit.
But, I tell you, I am still so up tight about it. I will now have to continue to see this lady for the next month at swim lessons. I just feel so awkward. It is not in my character to be so outspoken, especially to someone I don’t know. And I fall back into the horrible trap of mine, of caring what people think of me. I mean, I don’t want her to think I am this outspoken, pushy, judging mom who thinks my child does no wrong.
So, I am wondering…how do you handle playground issues? Do you have any examples or stories to share with the rest of us?
OK…so in my search for an image, I just came across these really cute animations from Kindergarteners about their favorite things to do at the playground. They are really quite good for such youngsters! My favorite ones are Haley, Vanessa, Isable and Liam.