Skip-a doo.

23 May


I truly dislike taking my kids to the park. I really do. You sit and stare at them flailing around-hell, I don’t really remember anyone taking me to the park. The only one my mother would have taken me to was at the beach, or our sad excuse for one, and she hated water. Her brother died at 21 in a boating accident, and they found him awhile later, in pieces. The conversation I overheard as a child used the phrase “picked him up with a net” and the image of a pale faced man, shocked, loosely floating in tall sea grass has never left my mind since. Poor Uncle Roland. Never had a chance.

It’s not like the park is near water, or anything I might deem unpleasant. It’s just, well, boring. I can’t sit there and read just yet since I’m never home with them and so the chorus of “mummy! over here!!! Look at ME!” never ends and I get two lines into Lords and Ladies and give up. It’s a constant gluttony of vision and thought that my daughters have, a craving for my approval. Maybe this is what grates at me so-I want daughters free from a need to hear me say “yes” or “right!”

But we go anyway. They love it. I can’t NOT go, especially not after a lazy trip to the store on a sorta sunny day where there’s no hurry and Poppi is gone and I feel relaxed around my children again, not in a rush to relieve him of letting them watch A Bug’s Life for the 1,503rd time.

And after all, it’s about the shadows isn’t it.

14 Responses to “Skip-a doo.”

  1. Erin May 23, 2008 at 6:59 pm #

    I think it’s just our being there that’s important…their being there. It can be tiring being a full-time audience. Just think of all that clapping after a mediocre smalltown theatre performance and then run that to infinity…that’s what parents are. We should be given those big spongy hands so ours don’t get sore.

  2. radical mama May 23, 2008 at 7:24 pm #

    I never take the kids to the park without John. I bring a magazine; he chases them and pushes them on the swing. Now that A is almost 7, she no longer craves our constant approval and attention so chin up: there is an end in sight!

  3. Marcy May 23, 2008 at 8:33 pm #

    I like to go to the park. It gives us something else to do… I wonder if Amy just shares my need to get out, or if I’ve conditioned her to — so often she says, imploringly, “go places?”

    I do try, in general, to be fairly either / or — either I’m playing with her, or being with her, echoing and affirming everything, or I’m doing my own thing while she does hers, answering “mama’s busy” or “not right now” or “Amy do it” when the interruptions occur… I don’t know whether I’m right or not, but it seems to be working for us both fairly well.

  4. Hannah May 23, 2008 at 9:42 pm #

    Can I just say again that you have a wee short version of yourself, there?

    I envy the sunshine. All we’ve had lately is rain and fog. The downside of living by the coast.

  5. thordora May 23, 2008 at 9:51 pm #

    It’s creepy, I know. Even worse because she ACTS like her mother.

    It was a brief moment of sun, believe me. I feel like we live in Cthol Murgos….

  6. Mad Hatter May 23, 2008 at 9:55 pm #

    I hate the park too but b/c my kid never lets me sit down. She is so timid that I must spot her going up the ladder or catch her coming down the slide. She would never run off to the play structures to play, content only with my seated “yes!” and “right!” The park wearies me.

  7. Judy May 23, 2008 at 10:31 pm #

    I dislike taking both boys, together, to the park – too much fighting, too much supervising the younger one. But now that Guthrie is 4, I can take him to the park and sit and read or write in my journal. It does get easier.

    Except no parks for awhile. Heat index of 117F – 47C – yesterday, today, tomorrow, so no going outside until almost dark. Blech!

  8. Jennifer May 25, 2008 at 10:22 am #

    I don’t like the park either, I’ve always felt like a bad mom for feeling that way.

  9. Jen May 25, 2008 at 2:34 pm #

    Hate the park. Can’t stand other children, tire rapidly of hearing my name. Plus with big kids running around, my rather-reticent-to-try-equipment daughter gets trampled and/or mocked.

  10. bipolarlawyercook May 25, 2008 at 5:34 pm #

    The soaking in the sunshine part is definitely the best part of taking our friends’ kids, for me.

  11. thordora May 25, 2008 at 6:40 pm #

    Gee, I thought I was the only terrible mother.

    I’m the type that will get down in the grass and examine the ant hill, or plow through thorns for raspberries. Standing around at the park? YAWN.

  12. March May 26, 2008 at 5:16 am #

    I have to say that I’ve learned to enjoy being at the park, granted most of the time I have a friend or two around for myself, so while we chase and look after and respond to the cries of “look at me” we’re catching up with each other. It’s sort of like cheap therapy.
    and even on those days when it’s just me and my kids, I’ve leaned to just enjoy seeing them try new things, lately I’ve become painfully aware that it won’t be long that they’ll look constantly for my affirmations, and the days of just being at the park looking at them will be gone.
    I’ve learned to slow down, and thus now I enjoy most of our time at the park….
    but yes, somedays are just plain boring to you as an observer.

  13. meredith June 4, 2008 at 9:42 am #

    Isn’t it amazing how a little confession from one mom creates such a heart swell in the hearts of other moms?

    I totally feel this way. I don’t like to be outside. I try to avoid it at all cost. I also try to pawn my 5 yr old on other parents to take with their kids to the park.

    Right now, having a 1 yr old and a 5 yr old, it is near impossible to take them alone. Is it wrong that I am ok with that?

  14. thordora June 4, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    Nope. That age difference is irritating as hell. I let Mogo take mine. 🙂

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