I enjoy taking my kids to the playground, but sometimes things happen.
Baby Girl was on the small children's playset when three older boys rushed past her. They accidentally knocked her off the platform and she fell to the ground. Thank God it wasn't a long fall, and the wood chips cushioned her fall. She was more scared than hurt. I got to her side to comfort her.
The appalling thing was that the boys didn't stop to help. Even worse, they tried to leave the playground, and doubly worse, none of the parents around bothered to help.
I was ticked off. I managed to talk to the boys...they didn't mean to knock her off the playground equipment, but I told them to watch out for the small ones. After all, they had no business being on the little set when the older kids' playground equipment was mostly clear.
Unfortunately, their parents weren't in immediate view. The only way I knew which women were their mothers was when the boys went over to them. They sat on folding chairs close to the parking lot, far away from the playground. I went over to tell them what had happened...but again, I was appalled at how they weren't keeping track of what their kids were doing. Of course, they were very apologetic. I knew their kids didn't have malicious intent, but still...
I got mixed reactions from the parents around me. Some were obviously unhappy, others were surprised that I was willing to address the situation almost immediately after it happened. As I mentioned to another concerned dad, I don't take these things lying down. This is a serious concern.
Maybe I'm a bit old-fashioned, but hurt my child, and Mama Bear comes out. If I hadn't talked to the boys and their parents, nothing would have been done, and those boys wouldn't have been held accountable. What if Baby Girl was seriously hurt? (She wasn't, but Mama Bear's mind works overtime with these kind of scenarios). It sends a strong message about responsibility...if no one does anything about it immediately, it could happen again. And if kids don't understand, they think it's no big deal.
Like I said, call me old-fashioned. But it needs to be addressed.
All original writing and art copyright A. Dameron 2000-2011