Playground Pet Peeves and a Little Random Ranting

The other day, I was reading a page that someone had linked to on Facebook about the dangers of small children going down slides on their parents or older siblings laps.  (I guess their shoes can stick to the slide and pull their leg around as you are going down the slide and the adult won't notice until it's broken the wee ones leg.  Nothing is safe anymore!)  At the bottom of the article was a link to something about Playground Pet Peeves.  Out of my own insecurities about being a helicopter mom, I clicked the link afraid I was going to have to defend my reasoning behind hovering.  I was actually surprised because a lot of the pet peeves on the list were that a lot of other parents don't hover enough.

Anyway, this got me thinking.  As a mother that spends quite a bit of time at the playground I've seen a lot that I'm not thrilled with.  Here's a few that I can think of off the top of my head:

1. Kids that climb up the big slide.  It's always the slide with a line.  Yes, my children are guilty of this from time to time, but I correct them immediately.  Kids can not go down the slide if there is a child climbing up and when they get to the top, there is nowhere to go unless you go back down the slide or push the other kids out of the way.  If there is nobody else on the playground this may be acceptable although it is dangerous because of the fall risk and I still don't like it.

2. Big kids.  Now don't think that I'm saying older kids shouldn't play at the park.  I'm perfectly ok with them playing, but I think they should be considerate to the smaller kids on the playground.  A lot of the time, they run over the smaller kids, pushing them out of the way to get to the more coveted places like the slides or swings, and they often group together blocking slides making clubs that are "member only".

3. Smoking!  I quit smoking to keep my kids from being exposed to the second hand smoke.  I wanted a healthier life for all of us.  I understand that it is your decision if you choose to smoke and it is technically alright in public places like playgrounds, but really?  Do you need to be inconsiderate and smoke in a children's play place?  Not only is it unhealthy for my children to be exposed to your second hand smoke, but you are also setting an example on my  impressionable young children as well as every other child there that smoking is "cool."  I get it, the cravings are insane, but if you need to smoke, step away from the swings or the bottom of the slide and smoke in an area that isn't full of children.  Also, it's dangerous.  Kids run around without really looking where they are going and can get burned quite badly by running into or stepping on a lit cigarette.

4. Potty mouths.  I try very hard to watch my mouth around my children.  You can get kicked out of a store or restaurant for cursing loudly so why is it okay in a playground full of children?  Children of all ages repeat everything they hear.

5. Watch your children!  Kids will be kids, but it's our job as parents to make sure they behave as they are supposed to, don't hurt other kids, and take turns on the slides, swings, the water fountain and anywhere else for that matter

6.  Sitting on the playground equipment.  I appreciate that you are there to watch your grandsons' soccer practice, but my children and many other children want to play on that jungle gym you are sitting on.  Also, I try very hard not to judge people, but you kind of look like a creeper sitting so far away from the other parents, all by yourself on a playground just observing.

7. The wood chips or tiny rocks.  Whose brilliant idea was this?  Last week Ben fell off of a swing onto the mulch, head first and got a bajillion little cuts on his forehead and a mouth full of wood chips.  It gets stuck in their shoes and gives them splinters.  It's not fun to play on and I'm not a fan of the kids throwing it, but you put the kids in something like this and they will throw it in the air.  Whatever happened to the recycled tire and rubber pieces?  It's a way of reusing things that don't break down on their own easily and it's safer for the kids.

That's all I have at this moment, but I'm sure there is more.  I try not to rant often, because I worry that it brings everybody down, but after reading this article and seeing what I do at the play ground, it was majorly necessary.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  I invite anyone to share a little rant on something that bothers them.  It doesn't have to be about the playground.  Sometimes it's healthy to get things off of our chests.

One more thing while I'm on the subject of ranting and chests...  Last night we went downtown for Final Fridays (a fun thing downtown Lawrence does the last Friday of every month they have art showcases, live music and a lot of the shops stay open a little later than normal.)  It was rainy, windy, and a little cold, but the kids really behaved very well so we took the kids to the toy store.  Shawn and I love the books and science section for our kids and they love it too.  I came across a book about breasts for children.

I was a little thrown.  I mean, I'm pretty open with things like this and if my kids ask a question about breasts  or Ben's infamous "Where was I before I was a baby in your belly?" question, I try to ask them as best and and true as I can but is this going to far?  I wasn't opposed to the book, just kind of questioning the book, so I came home and researched it a little more and thought some of the reviews were really creepy.

One review said:
I was looking for a good children's book to explain breastfeeding to my 4 year old and 2 year old, so that they weren't surprised by it when we bring baby #3 home. This book was great! Very matter of fact with good info that was simple enough for them to understand. The liked the funny pictures too.

Another review said:
Well, breasts are pretty amazing. I would have liked better illustrations.

And yet another review:
Because every child needs a book about breasts and their purpose. Lots of illustrations of nursing babies! Not the best pictures, but it does have a cut-out drawing of the inside of a breast, which is cool.

I get it, the pictures must not be GREAT, but should they be?  It's a KIDS book!  I'm left wondering, are we giving our kids to much information at such a young age?  My older kids are 2 and 4.  They understand breastfeeding and are quite intrigued with it, but I've never felt the need to get them a book all about breasts.  As a nursing mother, I just answer their questions and take pictures of Sydney trying to nurse her baby dolls (embarrassment photos when she brings home her first boyfriend or for her children.)  Sometimes, I think that we are in such a hurry to make sure our kids are smart or know everything and more on some topics we forget that kids should get a chance to be kids without worrying about things like whether or not a picture of a breast is a good enough or accurate enough picture and about heavy things like breast cancer.  This is not a book I'll be buying for my 4 year old and 2 year old.  Maybe as they get older it will be more appropriate, but not at this time.

Ok, I'm really done ranting now...  Haha!  I think so anyway.


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