Meet the New Nanny

There seems to be a pandemic sweeping our nation – and no I’m not talking about swine flu – though this pandemic is also highly contagious and can result in unplanned Emergency Room visits.

What I’m talking about is this sweeping attitude amongst lazy ass parents that the park is their new nanny. It comes with the best price, right – free – and apparently its there to entertain their child and render their roles and responsibilities as parent obsolete.

The consequences of relying upon the park as nanny, however, impact more than just that particular family and frankly incite rage in most of us. My conclusion to avoid this pandemic was to purchase my own swing set and slide, have my husband build it in our backyard, thus my own yard can act as my nanny and it need not bother anyone else, and I can avoid the rising blood pressure and rage that is almost guaranteed with a park visit lately.

I’ve blogged on this topic before and yet this subject is more common among brunch guests, email tirades and casual conversation at the beach, than is trashing husbands for being lazy around the house, so it merits a revisit.

Why do parents find it appropriate to check out at the park? To just sit in a corner and gab with each other while sally is running up the slide the wrong way, as your child is tying to slide down the right way? Or to pretend that they don’t see junior tossing sand in the eyes of his sandbox playmate over and over again? Or to let their 8 year olds tear up and past a climbing wall as my almost 4 year old is trying to navigate her wobbly way to the top? And why do I have to spend my time policing these junior tyrants and barking at them when my time is better spent monitoring my own kid, who herself is no innocent lark in occasional bad park behavior?

Do we need a nationwide bulletin to remind parents that the park is, in fact, not their nanny but is instead there provide a fun outlet for all children, and when visiting the park, their job is to keep an eye on johnny, enforce good behavior and discipline bad behavior? And guess what, when little kendra acts out, don’t let her explore her boundaries and learn how to play based on her peer’s response, grab her, discipline her and remove her from the play area. I don’t care if I’m inflicting my discipline philosophy on you – if your kid is going to misbehave and my kid is the victim, then your kid gets my approach if you do nothing.

Can we include this in the bulletin?

It’s easy to trash lazy moms who have clearly checked out – they do seem to be the most common culprit in this behavior – but that’s because more moms are home than dads. I have seen my fair share of dads too busy on their blackberry or cellphone to bother dealing with their snot nosed twerp.

So please parents – get your shit together – and remember that the park isn’t your  nanny and your kid isn’t awesome when they are breaking the rules and making an otherwise enjoyable park experience – miserable.

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