I was at the playground with S the other day and luckily it was just before all the kids from school get out so it was fairly quiet. He absolutely loves the swings but at this particular playground there is only one bucket seat swing and someone was on it. So I distracted S and he went on the seesaw and down the slide. About five minutes later he wanted to go on the swing again but the little boy was still in it and he was being pushed by his helper (who was on the phone) while he looked ahead pretty sullen. So I explained to S that we needed to wait until he was finished. Another five minutes later, S went towards the swing again. This time the helper’s friend had joined her and the two of them were chatting away. While I tried to distract S again, the helper said “Oh he’s sad because he’s missing his mummy and brother”. I just smiled and said it’s okay. What I wanted to say was: Take your unhappy little boy off the swing and do something fun to distract him from missing his mom instead of chatting to your friend and pushing him with such lacklustre. But I didn’t…
Instead I distracted S again and he went off chasing pigeons. Another few minutes later, he wanted to go on the swings again. So this time, as he approached the swings, I picked him up and stood right by the swing. The helper looked at me, unsure what to say and after a minute she said again “He’s missing his mummy.” Was I missing something?! Did this child (or rather helper!) get to monopolise the swing because he missed his mummy? I guess she realised I wasn’t going to back down after waiting over 15 minutes already and she took the little boy out and sat him down on a bench instead.
I think there’s a certain etiquette that needs to be respected at playgrounds. I find myself often having to stand around by the swings or tell a child not to try and push my son off the top of the slide. But isn’t this the job of the person who’s supposed to be watching the child? I’m not saying you should helicopter parent your kid but a little consideration goes a long way.
I was reading an article about the different types of playground moms (link below). Which one do you think you are? I think I’ve been each one at different times.
Do you find that you often have to play the role of “playground police mom” or just be taken advantage of?