Mama vs. The Mommies, Part 1

April 17, 2009

I’ve been stewing about this for a whole week, and I think I’m finally ready to rant.

Suddenly, I seem to be at war with the mothers of the world.  I used to feel like we were all in the same club, sending each other knowing smiles at the park, admiring each other’s babies in the grocery store.  But ever since Moo hit toddler age, I find myself sneering more than smiling.

It really started last Monday at the railroad park.  Before the train ride, we stopped for a bit at the playground.  Moo settled down in the sand and I pulled out two buckets, two shovels, and three snakes.  By this point, I’ve learned that inevitably, some child is going to approach and steal away Moo’s sand toys, so I might as well bring just enough to share, but not so much that we attract too much attention.

In a couple minutes a boy just slightly older than Moo toddled up.  He had spied the brightly colored snakes and promptly clutched one in each hand, turned, and began to make his escape.

“Oh, whoops!” I called after him.  “Can you bring those snakes back here?”

He turned and scowled at me.

“You can play with them,” I said.  “I just don’t want to lose them, so they need to stay here by us.”

He reluctantly returned and sat down with the snakes.  I looked around for his mom, since this is usually their cue to come up and ask if it’s okay, and make sure he’s sharing.  And then I say sure, no problem, she keeps an eye on the situation, and all is well.

Except nobody approached.

So I introduced Moo and myself and asked him his name.  He looked at me doubtfully, stood up, and started to take off with the snakes again.

“Can you bring those back, please?” I asked, chasing after him.  “The snakes need to stay here with Moo so we don’t lose them.”

I enticed him back to our general area by telling him the snakes’ names, what they like to eat, and initiating a game of bury-the-snake-in-the-sand.  I played with this nameless, seemingly parentless child for about 15 minutes, entertaining him to the best of my ability, while Moo sat playing by herself.  Every once in a while, I’d scan the playground to see if I could catch sight of a mother chasing after an older sibling, or (more likely) sitting on a bench talking on her cell phone.  I mean, I’d been entertaining her child going on 20 minutes.  Would you go that long without so much as checking in with your not-even-3-year-old?  No, you would not.  But what if you saw that some other nice mommy was doing your job for you, would you then be perfectly happy to be a lazy DUMBASS?  No, you would not.

Anyway, a few minutes later, nameless kid got bored with my games, grabbed the snakes, and took off again, moving at a quicker pace.

If it wasn’t such a crowded playground, I would have just let him run off and retrieved the snakes later, but there were kids running all over the place, and also, WHERE IS YOUR MOTHER?

So my mom, who was playing with Moo’s cousins nearby, sat down with Moo while I chased after the little boy.  Other moms saw my predicament and tut-tutted.  I asked a couple of them if they’d seen his mother.  They said no.  I’d had enough of parenting someone else’s child, so I asked the little boy for the snakes back.  Of course, he started crying.

“Is this anyone’s child?!”  I yelled to the general playground population.

And then out of the corner of my eye I saw a woman emerge from the bench-dwellers and start walking over to us.

“Is this your child?” I demanded.

“Yes, sorrrry,” she purred.  “Joey, you have to share!”

Joey cried harder.

Of course you know what she looked like.  It’s mean but it’s true – the mothers ignoring their kids at the playground are always the ones with fake boobs and impossibly smooth foreheads, and they are ALWAYS wearing high heels and inappropriate tank tops.

I seethed.

“I don’t mind if he plays with the snakes,” I said.  “I just don’t want to lose them!”

“Give back the snakes,” she said to her son, ignoring me.

“And I’ve been playing with your child for the last 20 minutes, while I would really like to be, you know, playing with my OWN CHILD,” I said, hoping for, I don’t know, SOME kind of recognition that she had been a fake-boobed idiot.

Instead she yanked the snakes out of Joey’s hands and gave them to me without looking at me.  I turned on my (tennis-shoe-clad) heel and stalked away while Joey began to wail at the top of his lungs.

“Are we going to have to leave the park because you can’t behave?” I heard her scold him.

“It’s not his fault!” I wanted to shout.  I thought about going back and giving the poor kid a snake to keep, but I wasn’t sure that I might not try to shove it down blondie’s throat instead.

She dragged her screaming kid out of the park and I tried to shake it off.  This was just an unusual incident.  After all, the one thing I really noticed after having a baby was that most people in the world are actually good and kind, especially mommies.

And then Wednesday came along.


9 Responses to “Mama vs. The Mommies, Part 1”

  1. Aaron Wood Says:

    You had me at “fake boobies.”

  2. Aaron Wood Says:

    But seriously, got to love non-caring parents (he said sarcastically).

  3. Sonia Says:

    Humph, perfect example of how it all gets started. Parents expecting other people to parent their kids I mean. Doesn’t take a degree and a zillion text books to know to..WATCH YOUR OWN KID LADY!!…sorry, slipped out.

    Oh, and I just LMFAO when I read the part where you yelled out, “SO WHO’S THE LOUSY EXCUSE FOR A PARENT NEGLECTING THEIR KID!” or something like that 😉 Good for you. Keep bein’ the good mommy. Some are already lost to the dark side, its a shame but we can’t turn’em back.

  4. kristi Says:

    Ooooh, hurry up with part 2! Imagine that kid in high school. <:{

  5. Charity Grant Says:

    Ha! I’m not a mom but I hear ya, K! Last month I pulled a 4 year old off E. Washington St. (BUSY street), asked him where his mom was, let him lead me up to the top flat of a 2 flat bldg… his mom was napping, I told her what happened, then I told her in no uncertain terms what was never going to happen again. I was cursing, my voice was raised, and she got defensive but I really didn’t care. E. Wash is a 35 mph street and WTF! Thanks for your story and happy birthday to Moo, btw. MJ Hobbs told me!

  6. Beth H. Says:

    wow – i can’t wait to hear what happened wednesday.

  7. pam b Says:

    you ROCK. first off. kudos for being loud and asking where the parent was and even bigger kudos for telling this lady how you really felt. i am the idiot would have sat there mute. oh wait, that happens every.f’ing.week when we have shabbat with my ILs and one set of cousins act like total barbarians. the parents not only have a week day nanny – they have a weekend one too

    sorry.. you got me going

    i am livid for you! i empathize with the sitch

    • mamarose Says:

      Hee! Pam, based on your unfiltered facebook updates, I find it hard to believe that you would have sat there mute! Confrontation is so awful, and especially when family involved.

  8. […] 23, 2009 A couple Wednesdays ago, when Irwin and Clara were still in town, we all went to the Children’s Museum.  Clara […]

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