Monday, May 19, 2014

Parents and Children Agree: My Parenting is Sub-Par

I woke up Sunday morning and I couldn't move. The upper half of my body was sore and tight and I was exhausted on top of that. As I lay in bed trying to figure out what was wrong with me, I remembered my adventures from Saturday.

My Julie was in charge of the PTA MayFest at her school and her husband was working for the day, so I told her I'd bring my kids out and keep an eye on hers as well. We did the same thing last year and everyone had a good time.  This year was no different. I met Julie at her school and got a set of tickets from her as well as a command to use her "tab" at the food bar if we got hungry.

We took our tickets and set out to play some games. Most of the games were "everybody wins" kinds of games, so the kids picked up a lot of kid-swag and I collected it in my bag. We got close to the end of our tickets and decided to go to the playground for a bit.

I was the bag lady of MayFest!
It's a nice playground with a climbing structure and some swings. I sat in one of the swings and watched the kids play.  They were playing my favorite game of all time!  The one where Frances is assigned the role of "mommy" and everyone else is her kid, trying to get her attention. So while I sat on the swings and played on my phone, they kept yelling, "MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY!" repeatedly.  I did try to respond a few times, but they always called back., "We're not talking to you!" So eventually I just started to ignore all of it.
Be thankful this is not a video of kids repeatedly yelling "MOMMY!"

After a while, I started to get hungry and I figured my kids would be too.  It was getting close to lunch time, so we went inside to eat. We got our food, put it on Julie's tab and sat down to eat.  The kids had won candy at one of the games earlier, so I told them they could eat that after they ate their lunch. What kind of a babysitter would I be if I didn't give the kids back all sugared up!?!
Would you have blamed me for licking him clean?

After lunch we went back out, got a few more tickets, picked up some more useless pieces of plastic kid-swag and then decided to go hang out on the playground again. This time it was a bit more crowded, so I hung out over by the edge, in the mulch. I set myself up to chill out for a while and then L called me over to push her in the swing. For the next 30 minutes I pushed kids on the swings. D wasn't interested, and Frances can swing herself, but L, Benjamin and Henry all wanted help.
Can you see the pout on Benjamin's face?

After pushing for a while, I told the kids I was taking a break.  L jumped off the swing to go play, but Benjamin stayed there waiting patiently for me to come back.  Except, not. He sat in the swing and called to me and whined for me to push him.  You would think by now that he would have learned of my superior ability to tune out whining, but, sadly, he has not.  Eventually, another mom came over to him and said, "Do you need a push on the swing?" while looking in my direction. I caught her glance as I looked up from the game I was playing on my phone.  I started to wonder if she was judging me, but I quickly decided that I really didn't care. 

So this other woman pushed my son on the swing a few times and then went back to her own kid. I gave her a casual wave and said, "thanks!"  She and her daughter left the playground shortly after that. Of course, Benjamin's swing had started slowing down again and he started to yell for me.  I was busy playing 2048 on my phone when I looked up to see a little girl, about 4 years old, standing in front of me.

"Is that your little boy?" she squeaked while pointing at the swings.

"Yep!" I said and smiled.

"Does he want to be pushed on the swing?"

"Probably," I replied.

*pause* "Are you...gonna push him?" she asked.

"Probably not."

And the she gave me a funny look and walked off. She was probably judging me too.

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