Okay so this is a rant. No time for proofing, I’m just going to write it to get it off my chest. It’s so silly really but I am starting to really understand how adults can look at kids sometimes and just shake their heads in disbelief – because that’s exactly what I had to do today.
I hate to sound mean but if you have kids who are older than, let’s say 12, please tell them to stay away from the park unless they are there to actually play – and when I say play, I mean play nice and be considerate of the younger children.
Today the weather was gorgeous so I decided to take my kids to the park around the corner. It’s a small little park – just a climber with 1 slide, some monkey bars, a couple other assorted plastic things and 2 swings. 1 is a baby swing, the other is a regular childs swing. We also decided to bring our 8 month old puppy with us.
The ride to the park was great, the kids brought their bikes and were wearing their new bike helmets which they were so proud of. When we arrived at the park, it was empty. The kids wanted to go on the swings first and within a few minutes, a group of 5 kids ages approximately 12-13 came to the park. They had a small dog with them as well. They immediately went to the climber and all sat down, taking up pretty much the entire thing. Nate got off the swings first and as I was getting Sophie out, I watched him run over to the climber and immediately stop with a confused look on his face. I could see he was just realizing now that there was no room for him and no route to the slide. I was about to say something when I heard him say “excuse me, can I get through please”. You would think that would be enough to give these kid the hint but no, they looked at him and then turned back to their conversation like nothing had happened. At this point, I said (very loudly): “Nate, can I get a picture of you going down the slide”? at which point two of the kids jumped off the climber and made comments about what a B—– I am. Even then though, they were standing right there and I watched Nate walk past them nervously a few times and finally he gave up on the slide all together (normally his favourite feature at a park).
I fully admit, I gave those kids a nasty stare. I don’t know what came over me but I was angry. They were at a park and they felt inconvenienced that there were children there?
Awhile later, I watched as Sophie attempted to climb up something that was definitely too old for her so I began to walk towards her. I didn’t want to startle her because she was definitely not going to be able to climb back down so I was just going to go over and help her off. Well, keep in mind that I had our puppy with us on the leash (just a regular sized lease, only a couple of feet long) – and as I walked towards the climber, the other dog came running at us. That dog was also on a leash but it was one of those retractable ones and the girl seemed to be doing nothing to stop her dog. The leash was extremely long and I was having trouble getting past because my dog is now trying to hide behind me and now matter what direction I went in, the dog was right there. Just then, I could see Sophie was now up too high so I just went for it but in doing so, the two leashes tangled. The girl turns to me and says quite rudely: “Uh, you got your dog tangled with mine”! It was all I could do to bite my tongue and I very calmly said “Just let me grab my daughter and I will untangle the dogs”. She just stood there, no attempt to help even though I obviously had my hands full.
So fine, dog rant aside, so far we were dealing with a couple of rude kids. Not too serious, most kids are rude at that age, spending their time hating all adults. What bothered me though, was what happened next.
We were going to leave so I told the kids we could go on the swings one last time. After about 2 minutes, Nate decided he wanted to go get his bike ready so he got off the swing and the girl with the dog came over. She tied her dog to the side of the swing and began swinging really high. I took Sophie out of the swing and went to grab the dog. As we walked by, Sophie drifted too close to the girl and she was kicked quite hard in the head (luckily she was still wearing her helmet)! I absolutely 100% understand that was an accident. Could have happened to anyone. Sophie got too close and the girl was swinging too high, the combo was meant for problems. What I don’t understand though, is why as my daughter laid on the ground screaming, this girl attempted to drag her feet to slow herself down, which in turn caused her to kick Sophie TWICE more as she laid on the ground. I literally screamed out “LIFT YOUR LEGS!!!! WHY AREN’T YOU LIFTING YOUR LEGS??” – because in my mind, if there’s a small child laying on the ground under you and you are swinging with that much force, you can’t stop. You need to lift your legs so that you don’t hit her any more. I guess to me that’s common sense but to a 12-year-old, not so much. So I do feel bad for yelling at her but I was able to get in there and scoop Sophie up.
Did this girl come say anything? Ask if she’s okay? Say she’s sorry? No, she took her dog, said to her friends “let’s get out of here” and they all left while I had my daughter laying on the bench looking her over to make sure she didn’t have any injuries.
So we all know (and I was reminded today) that kids at that age are really lacking in common sense. Think back to when you were that age, I’m sure we all did some really stupid stuff. What’s the solution? I don’t know. I am still angry about the entire encounter with these kids but other than saying that I think those kids were too old for this particular park, I have no idea. My kids are resilient so other than some tears and small bruises, everyone is okay.