To: Playground Monsters (aka Mommy Monsters and you know who you are).
Date: May 5, 2010
Subject: Park Etiquette Made Simple:
The time has come for some playground/park rules and I am going to set them. So, please put down your diet cokes, smart phones and gossip magazines for a brief moment, just long enough to read this. (Or read this on your smart phone before heading out to the park.) Please save all us other Mommies at the playground by following these simple rules. It is much appreciated. (And perhaps I will stop avoiding the park and actually take my son there again.)
(Please note that park rules do not exclude father, nannies, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, caregivers, babysitters, partners or others.)
1) Please do not text or talk on your cell phone while you are “watching” your child/children at the park. I am sure you have urgent matters to handle, but please hold off for the twenty minutes you are actually at the park with your child. This would make it easier on me so that I don’t have to watch your child for you.
2) It would be nice to actually acknowledge the mother standing next to you with her child (me) and not talk to me through your child. “Jimmy, will you please ask the Mommy if we can play with her son’s shovel? Now, tell the lady thank you.”
3) Bring your child’s own sand toys. I am all for sharing, but always and with everyone? I draw the line. (Especially for the kid with the runny nose and runny diaper.)
4) Speaking of diapers: If your child is still in diapers at the age that he/she is old enough to tell you, “I pooped my pants,” and just did, please change him immediately so that your poor child is not sitting in it all day and sharing the scent with the rest of us. Also if your child’s diaper is sagging, chances are it has been on too long, even though you have got the super absorbent diapers. (I know, how inconvenient for you…but it is not about you. You don’t have time to potty train. I"m not even going to touch that one…in this blog.)
5) It wouldn’t hurt you to put down that copy of “Happiest Baby on the Block” and get off the park bench once in a while and follow your son in the sandbox to make sure that he is not terrorizing other children, because he/she usually is. (Note that you will get sand in your shoes. I know this is shocking. So wear sand appropriate shoes.)
6) Please don’t send your child over to mine to ask if he could have some pretzels and cheerios as well. Bring your own along with the diet coke you are drinking.
7) There are no steadfast rules that the stairs on the slide are for climbing and the slide is for sliding down. Think outside of the sand box, would you?
8) When your sweet little Petunia decides to kick off her shoes in the sand box, it wouldn’t hurt you to move her shoes out of the way of the five other children that have since tripped over them.
9) Even though you want to show off that new thousand dollar stroller your husband’s latest promotion got you, please park it away from the park bench, so that others can sit down who were not brought over in a thousand dollar stroller.
10) Lastly, a manicure is great, I understand. But please make sure your nails (both toes and fingers) are dry before you head to the park, put your mani-pedied self down on the park bench and let the rest of us moms cater to your every need. Just because we are not freshly mani-pedied doesn’t mean we owe you anything.
*Now you can’t say that you didn’t receive the memo.