Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Helicopter Mom

Today I went over to McDonald's near Justin's work to meet with him for lunch. The kids needed to get out but it is ungodly cold outside so I did the next best thing: Playland.

Now, a McDonald's Playland is like this tiny little universe in and of itself. As a mom, I've learned where I need to sit and what I need to do while I'm there. Because in a place like Utah, when everyone has 14 kids, Playland is prime real estate. And usually it's fine. Moms exchange embarrassed glances and apologize to each other when their kid is the one screaming or wiping boogers or pushing other kids. Whatever. I get it.

Justin took the kids into the screaming abyss of Playland while I ordered food. Happy Meals for everyone! When I came in with the tray I could tell he was watching someone. When I asked, he said that a little three-year-old boy had tripped over a just-walking baby, and the mom of the baby had taken him and sat him down at a table until she could talk to his mother.

K, first of all... WHAT THE HECK.

So, Justin and I totally watched while this crazy mom stared down this CHILD for something he probably forgot that he did. When a little old lady appeared, it was clear that he was there with his grandma. The mom lit into the poor grandma, explaining that her grandson had made her baby fall. The grandma was mortified, understandably, and stood her grandson up to apologize. Guys, he was literally THREE. He had no idea what was going on. A strange lady was yelling at him. And she just stood there waiting for an apology. I wanted to smack her mom hair right off of her head.

So whatever, apparently she got her apology and was satisfied, so she put her baby back on the floor and commenced watching, hovering like a helicopter. I don't know about you, but I deposit my children in Playland to ignore them completely, actually. About five minutes later another child had tripped over her baby and she had yet another meltdown. The mom, not the baby. The baby was actually quite happy. I feel like she would have gotten the idea that maybe it was no longer a good idea to put her baby on a floor full of screaming children in running shoes, but to each his own.

Meanwhile, Addison and Andrew were blissfully off playing adult-free. While Andrew was climbing up a small set of stairs, another boy his age reached up and grabbed his shirt to get past him. Of course, Andrew started crying. Toddlers do that sometimes.

And here's what annoyed me the most. When Andrew started crying, the crazy lady started staring at ME to see what I would do. Justin was en route to get a drink, so I figured he would make sure Andrew was OK. But besides that, I don't like the idea that you have to jump up and break up every little child altercation. It's a big part of social development to make sure kids can deal with certain situations. As a parent, it's my job to protect my kids from other adults and even older kids, but I don't see the need in protecting them from babies.

So Justin went over, picked up and Andrew and distracted him with a hamburger (so typical.) When he came to sit down, the lady turned to me and said, "Is he alright? I totally saw that other boy push him." I could tell she wanted me to complain about the other children with her.

"He's fine." I said. That's what kids do. We got up and left. I wonder now if that mom is writing her own blog about the mom that didn't care that her child was crying in a McDonald's Playland. I guess to each her own when it comes to parenting. If you want to fight all of your child's battles, go right ahead. But don't rain on everyone else's parade too.


Jenna said...

Jae, you are so funny. "Slap the mom hair right off her head."

Carly said...

Oh girl, if you could hear me right now I would be shouting "I COMPLETELY AGREE!!!!!!"

I totally laughed at the "completely forgetting about them" at the playland (or park or whatever) because that's what I do. Unless they run to me screaming or they are spurting blood from anywhere, they are fine. And I feel like my children are better for it and more independent because I don't monitor their every twitch of a muscle.

Maya could climb the playground stairs with little effort by the time she was 17 months and was sliding down the big kid slides by 20 months. Kids will figure things out pretty quickly if their every move is not interfered with by over-concerned parents.

Geez. Longest comment ever. It's something I feel pretty strongly about! LOL.

*patting myself on the back*

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