Friday, April 13, 2012

Watch Your Own Kids, Pretty Please

Every once in a while, I like to get my soapbox out and stand on it for a bit.  Today is one of those days...

It was a gorgeous day yesterday, so I decided to take the girls to the park after I picked Grace up from school.  We picked up some drinks at Wendy's and were on our way to play until dinnertime.  When I got there, there was only one other child, a 4-year old girl who played while her grandmother sat on a bench with her face buried in a newspaper. 

About 10 minutes after we got there, the grandmother packed up her newspaper, got up from her bench, and walked to her car.  She didn't say ANYTHING to her granddaughter.  She just left.  Her granddaughter ran after her, probably worried that she was going to be left behind.  After a while, the little girl came back to the play area, while her grandmother sat in her car.

Now the parking lot is probably 70-100 yards away from the play area.  Not really all that close.  So for the next 20 minutes, I am left to watch and play with my girls, and now this other kid... It came to a point when I realized that I didn't want to be responsible for someone else's child.  I shouldn't be.  But I was left responsible.  Because obviously a 60+ year old lady can't watch her own granddaughter.

Two things made me upset... 1- I was left to watch a kid who wasn't mine.  Not to mention I didn't know her at all.  2- The grandmother made a choice not to be involved with her granddaugther's play.  Seems awful selfish and unloving to me.

So I left with my girls... with the other little girl trailing behind us to our car.  As I walked by the grandmother, who was now yelling at the little girl to get in the car, I did say something... something to the effect "you can't just leave her like that".  Of course she said she was watching.  Whatever.

We used to go to a park closer to our house.  But I haven't been there in 2 years, because every time I would go, I would end up "watching" every one's children while they sat in a pavilion and hung out with their friends.  Now it's one thing if you have a 8, 9, or 10 year old... but don't leave your toddlers alone.  And don't expect another adult to watch them.

I'm kinda thinking it would be a good, yet passive aggressive idea to get a sweatshirt just for park trips... it could read on the back I'm watching my own kids.  I don't want to watch yours.  Any betther ideas?


Emmy said...

Oh totally get that sweater! That would be awesome.

I cannot believe she went and got in the car!! Why couldn't she just stay where she was and read? At least then she could hear if her granddaughter needed something. Glad you said something.
I went to the park one time with a bunch of my friends and there was another group of moms who were seriously having some sort of meeting. I had to go and stop their kids from throwing sand, hitting other kids several times as they were not paying attention at all. And then when several of their kids wandered across the park and into the street a dad at the park finally said something to them and told them as they had no clue!

Maura said...

Oh man, that's happened to me. Once I was expected to push a toddler on the swings who couldn't speak English. His mom was hanging out on a bench texting. >:0