Against My Better Judgment

We got about 4 inches of snow this weekend, as did most of the folks in this general area (well, it ranged anywhere from 2 to 8, depending, but the point is, we got, for this part of the world, a good ol' snow.) This tends to limit the amount of running and jumping and general craziness that the kiddo gets in, because while he's certainly free to be 2 while inside, I do try to keep some sort of lid on the outside behavior unless he's, you know, outside.

Not that we didn't go out and play in the snow. We did! Quite a bit. It's just that it pretty much is only in 20 - 30 minute increments and there's a lot of getting picked up because he fell and got his face wet and it freaked him out. So it's not really the same as playing outside when it's not snowy.

On Saturday, I found out from a friend that the place I use to get his photos taken (Kiddie Kandids in the Babies R Us) went out of business. I was a tad annoyed at this because they still owed me a 16x20 that I'd paid for and, had it not been for this friend's sister telling her so that she could, in turn, tell me, it's unlikely I would have figured out they went out of business because BRU didn't bother to tell anyone. I suppose, given that it was a completely independent company, it's not really BRU's fault, but surely someone could've taken the time to call people who still have orders pending to say, "Oh, hey, you're hosed."

Not wanting to believe my friend (she was less than positive - it was a "Hey, my sister mentioned this, have you heard it?" type of thing) I gave BRU a call. The manager was very nice and went to look, because apparently they're still getting photos shipped to them, and sure enough, my photo was there. So that made me less annoyed that no one let me know.

Anyway, today we decided that it would be good to get out of the house, so we trucked down to BRU to pick up our photo. And then, since the Chick-Fil-A is right out front, we decided to get some chicken and the doodle would have a chance to play. This is where my better judgment comes in. Because as I was pulling into the parking spot, I had this conversation with myself:

Hmmm...there are plenty of spaces, so it shouldn't be too crowded - it doesn't look crazy. On the other hand, school's out, so there may be more kids in the play place. On the other other hand, maybe some people were scared to brave the roads still.

I went back and forth a few times and then decided to go in anyway. As a positive, it wasn't crazy crowded. We easily got our food and a booth and had a delightful meal.

On the negative end of things...the play place was nuts. And not just nuts with a lot of kids playing, but nuts with kids who I'm fairly certain are technically too tall to be in there running around, shoving the littler kids, screaming, and playing some version of boys chase girls, jumping on top of the equipment in ways it's not meant to be jumped on, and generally making it an unsafe place for the under 4 set. We tried, but the kiddo ended up just clinging to my leg (I don't blame him) and so we left shortly thereafter.

Now, I get that kids will be kids, it's a play place, blah blah. But here are my two major beefs:

  1. It states clearly on the door that kids need to be accompanied by a parent. In my mind, that means the parent needs to be in the play place, not just in Chick-Fil-A. Glass wall or not, if you're not in there sitting and watching, chances are, your kid is the on jumping, pushing, and screaming. If you have a well behaved child and I won't notice that you're not in there, then fine, break the rules. But let's be honest, parent with well behaved children are probably sitting in there making sure the behavior continues. Because they believe in parenting.
  2. Tell your older, larger child to be careful of the small kids. One way they can do that is to stay out of the under 3 area. I'll keep my little kid off the fun big kid equipment when it's crowded, I don't have a problem with that. But you need to tell your big kids to stay out of the little kid spaces if they can't be nice.
  3. Pushing is just never ok. And chances are, if you were sitting in there watching them, they wouldn't try it.
  4. If you choose not to sit in there, then don't get pissy with me when I tell your precious darling to slow down, quiet down, and look out for toddlers. The other moms in there were all in agreement with my actions. Just because junior isn't used to hearing the word no from you doesn't mean he doesn't need to hear it.
Annoyance aside, I knew better. I did. Days like today are just rife with those annoyances because the play places are full of parents who had to take off work because school was closed and so they wanted to get out of the house and abdicate their responsibilities for a bit. I just wish that didn't have to ruin it for everyone else.


Gwynne said...

I agree with you 100%! You should have heard the noisy playground go silent last weekend when I told the big kids (i.e. in excess of the posted size limit) to "stop chasing each other because you might hurt the little kids." *crickets* Then repeat. I finally searched for the parents (outside the wall...of course) who could not have cared less what there kids were doing. *hrmph*

michellewillingham said...

After teaching middle school for years, I'm no longer concerned about what other parents think. The parents who let their kids run around like animals aren't going to discipline them and if it's a safety issue, I have no problem telling the kid myself that they need to be careful. Most kids will listen, but for those who don't, you're just out of luck. Sorry you ran into a few of "those."