Playground Politics

Sorry for my slow posting today, it’s been a busy day.  I also was feeling quite uninspired on blog topics, particularly after I imposed a self ban on certain subjects and so, I sorta stonewalled myself.

For those of you who have the honor and glory of knowing moi quite well, you know that I do these things. I make big bold declarations and then sometimes contradict myself….or regret it later. But I digress. Enough about moi.

So yesterday I was home with darling daughter for various reasons. It was a lovely spring day, we had done some baby shower shopping and spring toddler clothing shopping, and felt that the best way to show off darling daughter’s new duds were with a trip to the park. She could cruise around the playground in her spring must-haves for toddlers while simultaneously wearing herself out in prep for bed time.

Ahh, the sweet life of a 16 month old. Give her some swing time and a few random dogs to wave to and life is fantastic. Add in some cheese or a strawberry, and it’s like winning the lottery.

Normally one would think that I can’t find trouble at the swings.

But well, if you think that, then you also haven’t met me. Allow me to, once again, introduce myself.

Dear kitten, I am KittyTime. There’s a reason I have a red headed daughter. It’s nature’s way of giving my mom the pleasure of watching me experience all that I’ve put her through. It’s also nature’s way of allowing my husband, sisters, dad, and other dear close friends to watch her torture me and lecture me and make big bold declarations – just as I have done to them over the years. C’est vrai. But see, I know this and I’m prepared. But the other thing about moi is this – trouble seems to just sorta follow me.

Could it be that I look for it?

Sure, if I’m in a bad mood.

But I swear, it just sorta happens. And it can even happen at the baby swings.

Now, c’est vrai, yesterday was just a little ruffling of my feathers. The only reason I didn’t really unleash is because there was some kind of mommy playgroup happening on the playground and the children all appeared to be the same age as my daughter, so I quickly discerned that if we remained living in our neighborhood, I would likely come across these women again in the near future..and well….far be it from MOI to make a bad first impression.

Though I was not the notorious swing offender of Spring 2007.

It was my enemy. We weren’t even FRENEMIES. She was immediately my mom-enemy. My Mo’nemy.

Allow me to paint a picture.

Beautiful warm spring afternoon. Flowers blooming, trees budding, dogs roaming, children laughing, mom’s gossiping at the park. It’s suburbia, kids. There’s a little diversity. There’s a few unwanted tree branches. There are a few poorly dressed kids but other than that, we’re not Wisteria Lane, but we’re doing just fine.

So, me and darling daughter arrive to the park and note that both baby swings are occupied. We all know that the unspoken rule of baby swings is much like the gym during gym rush hour. Don’t over stay your limit. If you’ve been pushing your sweet cherub for a respectable amount of time,  say 10 minutes, and someone else comes along and clearly wants to put their snot-nosed twerp in the swing, then you remove yours and move on.

Well, not my mo’nemy. Mais non! She had one toddler in the swing and then her baby in the stroller watching. There was another random baby in the other swing. So, we entertained ourselves a while, the second swing freed up and before I could sweep in, my Mo’nemy put her baby in the second swing.

I thought, ok, fair enough. Perhaps she’s been waiting a while and I’m not going to complain. If she wants to push the baby for a few minutes while she finishes out her toddler’s swing, then we’ll head over to the slides.

Of course, moving away from the swings implies you’ve then surrendered your place in line. It’s like inadvertently crossing your name off the treadmill list at 6:30pm on a random Tuesday night.

Without boring you with all the details of playground gate, what follows is a lesson in playground politics, and shockingly, I played the role of Switzerland.

After some time at the slides, some more time admiring some UNLEASHED dogs from afar, and then flirting with some twin boys in a wagon, including my daughter’s attempted theft of the unsuspecting toddler boy’s sippy cup (if you have a drink it’s fair game for her, consider yourself warned), me and darling daughter made our way back over to the swings. We’d been in the periphery of the swings the whole time, and I’d been shooting “Get your damn kid out of the swing” looks to my Mo’nemy the whole time. Easily a half hour. I’m sure you can picture it. Subtle is never a word one would use to describe moi.

At this point, I’d had enough, so I busted the classic “If you don’t get away from the swings now, I might yell at you” move. I went to the bigger kid swings and held darling daughter on my lap, so we could swing, meanwhile I GLARED at my Mo’nemy the entire time with a genuine look of horror, contempt and disdain.

I really couldn’t believe how selfish she was. Even worse, how could she not care about my nasty looks?

Again, for those of you that know me, I didn’t call her out on her bad form only because there were so many other mom’s there that I don’t yet know. And well, even KT has to keep up some appearances of being sweet and well, motherly. Even when by wearing my sassy Lilly Allen tshirt, it would imply otherwise.

My Mo’nemy did eventually leave the swings but not because several people were waiting, I think it was merely because she was done.

Maybe she was just a mom having a bad day with her two kids and the swings were her only reprieve.

Maybe.

But in the tough world of playground politics, who’s to say she’s the only one feeling that way, and the rest of us didn’t also need that swing break?

Next time, she’ll hear from me.

3 Responses to Playground Politics
  1. chopshopstudios
    March 29, 2007 | 5:39 pm

    fantastic! A mo’nemy. I love it!

  2. Melanie
    March 29, 2007 | 6:09 pm

    oh, kitty.. i’ve been here. It either the sahm moms who sniff out my bberry (fyi, NOT trying to start mommy wars on kittytime) and thus make me wait (not making this up). Or the other-language speaking moms engaged in a conversation (in the other language) who totally ignore me.. grrrrrr…..

  3. atlanta chiropractors
    June 12, 2011 | 10:17 am

    That’s kind of… abrupt.

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