By Kristin McCarthy of Four Princesses and the Cheese
I fucking hate the park. Really, I hate the playground. I always have. My children love, love, looooooove the playground. Any playground will do for them. Given the choice between Disney World and the local playground, my money is on the slide. My middle daughter was obsessed with the school playground. She used to call it the “park-it.” It was adorable and the only thing likable about the hell that is the playground.
People will argue that the playground is awesome. They will tell you that it will entertain your children for hours as you scroll through Facebook on a park bench. They will try and convince you that it is a great space to meet new mom friends and bonus! It’s free! These people aren’t necessarily wrong; those things can indeed be true. The problem is they forgot to mention the four thousand reasons that playgrounds are assholes.
We have an asshole right around the corner from us. No joke. We see it twice a day. Yep. The school playground.
Jesus Christ on a cracker, it does give me problems, that school playground.
Downfall number one: It’s a mile to the nearest bathroom. Either the schools are locked or the port-a-john is half a mile away. It is a guarantee that someone will pee their pants at the park, maybe even shit themselves. Went potty before you left the house? Doesn’t matter. All kids between the ages of 3 and 6 pee themselves at the park.
Second strike: The kids always want you to play WITH them. No! No.No.No.No.NO! I don’t want to chase you on the play structure, play fairies or push you on the swings until I develop Tendinitis in both arms. I want to sit on my ass for five seconds! Go play with the gaggle of siblings I was gracious enough to birth for you. I attempted the monkey bars once as a mom and I am pretty sure I tore most of the muscles in my upper body and looked like a giant asshole. Lesson learned: Mom’s not playing at the playground.
Third playground pitfall: You run into at least ten people that you know – but you can never remember their names. Your kids have been in class together since kindergarten, yet you have no clue what the parent’s first name is! Get it together and learn these bitches names, Kristin. Sheesh.
The mother of all fuckers: Wood chips. So many wood chips. Every wood chip in the shoe warrants an epic meltdown, a sit down strike in the dirt, and a convincing that the offending wood chip is in fact gone for good. Now go play for ten seconds before yet another wood chip finds its way into your sneaker and causes a repeat meltdown.
You would think the hike to the playground was the equivalent of crossing the Goddamn Sahara. It takes us a half hour to walk to the park (yes, it should take eight minutes) and someone always wants to leave five minutes after we arrive, but only one of the four kids wants to leave. The other three, of course, want to stay and the one angry little clinger is raising hell over leaving. Because there always must be one.
Eventually angry clinger gets over her misery and goes to find some wood chips to ruin our lives with. What’s this? Everyone is playing nicely? It can’t be. Why, the playground isn’t so bad after all! Look at how nicely they are all playing together. And just like that, here come their friends. Now they are all high on life, for crying out loud. A surprise park play date. Hooray! Too bad we now have to leave in ten minutes to get home for dinner or sports or God knows what. Pulling the playground plug just got painful. No one is going to be coming to my beck and call willfully. They are going to put up a fight. I know this drill.
“Come on, kids. Time to go home.” They hear me loud and clear. I know this because they run off in the opposite direction. Now I get to chase them, screaming like a crazed banshee in front of the other parents at the playground. The big girls will eventually come, but the toddlers will have to be dragged, kicking and screaming. And those two love that damn playground, remember. They scream, squirm, buck their tiny bodies as I try to strap them into the wagon, and by the time I have gotten them to succumb (because I probably had to bribe them with cookies or mini muffins), the older girls have run off again. Son of a bitch!
And the walk home begins. It always feels longer (if you can even imagine that) on the way home, doesn’t it? No one is happy, especially not me. The kids are hot, tired and hungry and dinner isn’t gonna make itself now, is it? No.
No, it is not.
Blow me, local playground.
This post was originally published on Four Princesses and the Cheese.
About the Author
SAHM mom of four little blonde girls ages 8, 6 and identical twin 2 year olds. Lover of cheese, craft beer, top knots and BRAVO. Hate of Thomas the Train, Caillou and laundry. You can find Kristin and her little Blonde-tourage hanging out at popular Suburban hot spots like the local Target and Home Depot. Kristin is the cynical mind behind www.fourprincessesandthecheese.com. Kristin is also a regular contributing writer for Suburban Misfit Mom.