October 29, 2009 by Shannon
Some kids are jerks. There. I said it.
(Phew…I feel so much better.)
Can someone please tell me why parents of bossy kids (a.k.a. bullies) don’t watch their kids more closely at the playground? Because I tell you what. I guarantee that if one of those kids is pushing my kid around — or worse, backtalking ME — I will do something about it.
Last weekend, we went to a very popular park on a gorgeous fall day. It was packed. Kids were running around everywhere. Kellan went up to the top of the playground equipment and prepared to careen down a twisty slide, when I saw a little boy twice his age start getting in his face. I don’t think this kid was actually saying anything mean, but he was nose to nose with Kellan. Within seconds, I was up the steps and at the top of the slide. “Do you want to go down the slide?” I asked the kid. His reply was no, so I asked him to move aside so Kellan could go down.
But he lunged at my boy again. “What’s your name?” he demanded. “His name is Kellan,” I said through gritted teeth. “Can you please let him go down the slide now? Thanks.” As Kellan got positioned at the top of the slide, the kid turned his attention back to the bullying at hand. “We’ve got the same shoes. Did you hear me? We’ve got THE SAME SHOES.” I interrupted him with a terse, “Yeah, you do.” And just as Kellan was about to slide down, the boy lunged at him physically. I don’t think his intent was to hurt him, but he was clearly about to give him a big shove. So that was it. I stomped my foot right between that kid and my boy and growled, “GET. BACK.“
But that’s not all that’s happened at the playground in the past week. Just a few days prior, I decided to swing by the park with Kellan after running some errands. Within seconds of arriving, just as we reached the top of the play equipment, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. A golf ball-sized bouncy ball flew up from the ground and hit me right in the diaphragm. It didn’t really hurt, but I was pissed. I mean, what if it hit some little kid in the eye? Not to mention MY little kid?
As the ball rolled in front of me, my first reaction was to stop it with my foot and pick it up. A little boy ran up to me and said, “That’s my brother’s.” Rrrrr. As if I wanted the stupid ball. That snotty attitude was the first thing that got my blood boiling. I stared the kid down, then his brother ran up to the playground equipment. I turned my gaze and glared at him too. “Don’t throw things at people,” I snarled, and dropped the ball at his feet.
After both of the incidents, not ONE parent said a thing to me afterwards. Which leads me to two possible explanations:
- The parents were embarrassed.
- The parents were not watching their kid in the first place.
Now. I fully realize it is often impossible to keep your eyes on every kid at every moment. (Especially after my adventures in preschooler wrangling last month.) However. If aggressive kids keep getting pushy with me OR my kid, I will do what I have to. And if Kellan acts like a jerk on the playground while I’m not looking? I hope other moms would do the same.