What Most Of Us Are REALLY Thinking At The Park

I have a confession to make.  I absolutely hate going to the park with my kids.  Before I started this blog, I might have been hesitant to openly admit such a thing.

Other parents seem to genuinely love the park.  As soon as the spring arrives and the weather warms up, I constantly see “off to the park with the kids on this gorgeous day!” pop up all over my Facebook news feed from other moms. Friends and family tell me that they spent the entire day at the park and loved every second of it.  People really seem to adore that place.

Now don’t get me wrong; that’s totally cool.  If you actually enjoy the park, then that’s awesome for you.  I really wish I had whatever genetic indentation I would need in my DNA to enable my experience at the park to be enjoyable, but  more power to you for having it. Seriously.

Unfortunately, to me, there is literally NOTHING enjoyable about taking the kids to the park.  To me the park is like hell, if hell consisted of rowdy children, bored-looking parents, bacteria-ridden play equipment, rubber flooring, and randomly scattered foliage.

As I mentioned, before I had this blog I wouldn’t have been so eager to share my harsh feelings on this subject.  I would have been scared to come off looking like a crappy mom or a big jerk.  But I’m learning more and more, with every blog I write, that I’m rarely alone in my parenting thoughts.  And hating the park is likely to be no exception.  In fact, I’m willing to bet that the majority of you are already nodding your heads in agreement.  Maybe even some of you “off to the park” Facebookers will secretly be with me on this.

I mean, can’t we all just finally admit it, once and for all? The park sucks.

Below you’ll find a collection of thoughts I’ve had while at the park with the kids.  You will most likely find them shockingly similar to your own thoughts.  If so, I would love to know. And if not, go post that shit on Facebook or something.  No one needs that kind of positivity around here.

Just kidding!  Maybe.

What Most of Us are REALLY Thinking at the Park:

Oh look, our kids are playing. Awkward silence, awkward silence, more awkward silence…. Ugh I can’t put off the obligatory small talk any longer. “So how old is she?…Oh, she’s adorable…..My daughter is two….Aw thank you… Yes they do sure grow up fast….” Gag.  Soon I’m going to start pretending I don’t speak English.

Of all the kids in the park, of course my kid decides to play with the hacky, rashy, booger-covered one who is definitely carrying some mutant strain of coxsackie and chicken pox, heretofore known as poxackie.  I might as well round up the pediatrician and the pharmacy now and be ready for it.

How old do your kids need to be in order to become the highly unaware sitting-on-a-bench-checking-her-phone-while-the-kids-play-by-themselves mom?

Clearly there is no minimum age, since I’m pretty sure that baby poxackie over there belongs to her– and he needs a babywipe or ten to the face ASAP.

Pleeeease, baby, don’t pick that play structure to climb. Look! There’s a little one over there that’s just the right size for you! Ok, I guess the tallest one it is.  I just love being that psycho mom who literally climbs inside the jungle gym with her kid to keep him from plunging to his death.  And now you want to climb up that ginormous slide? By yourself? Oh, silly me. Of course not by yourself. Mommy’s here! Climbing the ladder right behind you! So let’s get this shit over with.

If I have to climb up this damn slide one more time, I’m going to strangle myself with a swing chain.

Swings! That’s a great idea! Standing in place definitely beats chasing these kids all over the park.

20 minutes of “standing in place” later: “Push higher, mommy! Higher! Really high!!!” Oh, how I wish I were.

Time check: 2:30p.m..  Seriously?? We’ve only been here for 45 minutes??  HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? I swear it feels like three hours.  So time stands still at the park, but naptime is over before I can finish my coffee.  Of course.

Poxsackie’s mom has some really cute sunglasses on. I wonder if they’re cheap and just look expensive, or really expensive but look like they could potentially be cheap. Either way, I wonder where she got them. Oh shit, where are my kids??

When the heck did they turn on the sprinklers?? Uh-oh. There are some big kids in there playing a bit too roughly. Do I go grab my kid and get soaked, or stay dry and just leave her alone? Eh, she’ll be fine.  How bad could they be?

Not my best decision. Where’s that band-aid I had in my bag for the last year and a half? When did I lose it? Why do I never have a band-aid on me when I actually need it?? Well, on the bright side, she’ll probably be too upset about her boo-boo to want to stay here any longer.

Wrong. Do I not know my own kids?

Is that sunburn? Crap! I forgot to put sunblock on these kids! I mean, it’s not like I’m at the beach or anything.  I knew I should have brought my big diaper bag. There’s definitely some sunblock in there.  And band-aids.  And probably some bribery candy for when it’s time to leave, too.  But who the hell wants to lug a giant bag around the park? You can’t climb up a slide wearing a giant diaper bag.  And how on earth does that mom who always just wears the little Louis Vitton shoulder pouch always have everything she needs?  Are those things like tiny bag-shaped clown cars?

I will literally pay you in lollipops not to go anywhere near that sandbox.

It’s so freaking hot today.  Where’s the damn shade, anyway? Would it kill them to plant a few more trees around here??

“Mommy I have to pee!”  Come again? You have to PEE? Here? At the park? The PUBLIC park?? In that nasty filthy bathroom over there??? Are you sure you can’t just hold it?? At least try for me? No??? Fine. But forget the poxsackie. You’re about to get a toilet bowl STD.

Ok, I think I’ve had enough. “Kids! Time to go!  Yes I know you want to stay but it’s time to go.  Mommy is two monkey bars away from a nervous breakdown right now.  No, NOT one more time on the slide….  Not the swing either! LET’S GO! Oh don’t you dare start crying.  Shut those waterworks down, missy.  Now where did your brother go? What?? THE ICE CREAM MAN IS HERE??”

Shit.

At least one of us is having fun.

At least one of us had fun. It’s all that really matters….. Right?

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17 thoughts on “What Most Of Us Are REALLY Thinking At The Park

  1. *snicker*. In our family, that’s what “us grandparents” are for – to spare parents the agony of the park. I gotta say I love the park until other kids show up. They’re never as cute or nice as my g’kids and, yes, their noses are always running. I will gladly go to the park; reluctantly go to the outdoor n’hood pool on a hot summer day; but I draw the line at indoor pools in the winter time. There’s NOTHING fun about that fiasco.

    Loved your true confession and hope to hear more 🙂

    • Indoor pools = yuck. What is is about indoor pools that just conjure up thoughts of slime and germs and ICK. I’m with you on that one. I WISH any of my kids’ grandparents would volunteer to bring them to the park. It’s literally never happened once. You think you could have a little sit-down with them? For me? Please 😉

      • That’s too bad. They don’t know the joy they are missing!! Every family is different. I never had my own kids, and stepparenting was rocky since I entered the scene during their teen years, but grand-parenting has added exponential joy to my life.

        Except for indoor pools 🙂

  2. lol…..I’m actually one of “those” moms who thoroughly looooved taking the kids to the park. And yes, there were a few downsides and horror stories from a few of our outings, but with my kids “now 26 and 23 years old” , I would give ANYTHING to go back in time. I certainly miss those days.
    Loved your confession…so cutely & well written!

  3. Amen! Add to all of yhis, the fact that I have NO ifea how to “pick up” mommy friends at the park. It never fails, I see a mom that seems cool, like, mommy cool. We are both trying to pay attention to our kids, but really, just so other moms don’t call CPS on us. She’s got kids my kids’ age, looks like she’s just as disheveled and in want of a solo pee break as me. I think we could be friends. I mosey over there and then I turn into the master of closed ended questions, she thinks I’m I creeper and all of the sudden decides her kids a “need” her. Then I walk away feeling like a loser. Sheesh! I thought high schoolwas over!

    • I know exactly what you mean! I’m terrible at making mom friends. Like really, really bad. I love how one of your mom-friend requirements is someone paying just enough attention to not have CPS called on them. We would be good friends in real life 😉

  4. OK, I have to cop to being one of the moms that loves the park, but I max out at 1 hour, tops. I think I had a streak of good luck and a good night’s sleep *once* and I made it two hours, but that’s it. I had no idea some people were doing it all day. That’s glutton for punishment territory.
    I’m totally stealing ‘poxsackie’ by the way. That’s brilliant.

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  6. Exactly. My children are thankfully growing out of the love of the park. I will add to your list of park hatreds the awkwardness of being excluded from the park moms as per my gender but being stared at every time my kids would bang their head on the metal play structures. Also, having to watch other people’s two year olds hang from the highest bar possible while the parent is oblivious to the impending doom. And I’m not even going to start about the men’s bathroom at parks Thankfully I only had one girl…

    • Yes! Good points. What I find most irritating is that the people throwing dirty looks your way because your kid took a monkey bar to the face are the SAME jerks letting their two-year-olds wander around unsupervised. Why can’t there be idiot-free playgrounds?

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