So some days I feel like a Model Mom. My children are well dressed and well behaved, I'm patient and articulate, we all have good, clean, Suzy Homemaker fun, and I catch people smiling at us happily as if to say "wow, isn't that family just awesome?" Seriously, it's nice.
Most days we're more down to Earth. My kids might have some stains on their clothes or need a little time out or reminder here and there, there might be some whining involved and I may raise my voice a bit in warning, but generally we have a great time and the public in general does not at all mind our presence and, again, we receive lots of smiles (helloooo conspicuous family!).
Then there are days like today.....
Hmmm, how do I put this....
I don't THINK we were doing anything wrong. I mean, my kids were being wild little boys on the indoor playground at Triangle Town Center, as were another pair of children whose mother I was speaking with. We were all there first and for a long time before anyone else showed up, and not to say we owned the place or anything but really if people did not want their children to play in the same area as a bunch of squealing, running, rolling-down-the-padded-slide-backwards-all-together kids then, well, they may have just wanted to walk on by and come back in a few minutes. We didn't exactly come in and destroy anyone's peace, you knew who the crowd was before you stepped foot in the place, don't act surprised when the four kids who were running around when you got there continue to run around and *gasp* even approach your children and ask if they would like to run around too!
So to make a long story short... we got some nasty looks. Some VERY nasty looks. I might even go so far as to say I was THAT mom today (though there's no actual definition of THAT mom so I'm pretty sure all moms are THAT mom 24/7). Ambrose ran up the slide the "wrong" way. A totally padded slide in at totally padded playground, running towards children who were laughing and playing with him and having a blast. And no one got hurt. And ooooooh, the glaaares!
Paxton, big brother that he is, tried to help a toddler down the slide by putting him on his lap. The mother came and took him off his lap and put him behind telling him he should go down on his own. Again, glares.
Kids ran around and raced and tumbled and knocked into each other and had a blast, not just my kids, but for me and the woman I was talking to... yeah, the looks were coming our way.
And when P was playing with a friend who had been happily playing with him for several minutes and he accidentally fell on her and she started to cry?
OMG, I thought someone was actually going to smack him or me.
The mom pulled her 4 or 5 year old daughter up and marched off with her and a younger sibling. I called P over to talk about it and have him apologize, but the mom left in a hurry. I sat back and caught one other mom (the Queen Glarer if you will) arms crossed, totally smug and assuming look, looking me straight in the eyes (and yet somehow down her nose at the same time...).
Thing is... I truly don't believe my kids were doing anything wrong.
And truth be told I'm a little upset myself. Let's just say we have some history with this playground and I'm little worried there may have been some racial issues at play given the specific scenario...
Anyway... today was a pretty good day in that my kids had fun and I had fun and I met a really nice woman and we got to do everything we'd planned to do (coffee at Caribou, get energy out on the playground, story time at the bookstore, lunch at Moe's, home in time for a good long nap).
And yet I could have done without the smug glares and huffing loudly when near me with a sharp glance my direction and the total and complete *silence* from the other moms who seemingly refused to speak with each other and only whispered to their children (it honestly felt like they were listening to me and my new friend...).
Oh, and that mom who left in a hurry? Yeah, as soon as I walked out she walked right back in. She'd been waiting for us to leave. Another mom I saw in another place and she continued to just staaaare at me with this incredulous look, like "how DARE you live in my world?"
Seriously, I was thiiiiis close to going up to her and saying "honey, if you perceive some sort of threat to your children and your only action is to just stare at it as if you're better than it, then your kids have bigger problems than my boys asking them to play tag."
Lily in a loafing barn
4 days ago