H and I take the kids to a nice park a few minutes drive from our house. We go to this particular park because it is very small kid friendly. It has a gated in area for the little ones, toddler swings, toddler sized slide, and a wading pool (also separately gated off). There is a building with restrooms, and what I presume is a recreation/craft area during the summer day camp classes. There is some grass and benches and it is very well kept.
We loaded up the kids in their swim suits and shorts in the hopes of an hour or so of fun. Normally this particular area of the park is not too busy, but this was not the case today. It seemed many people had the same “beat the heat” idea we did.
We always put the kids down once we walk through and close the gate so they can decide what they want to do. 9 times out of 10 they head to the swings. There were already two moms and their children on the swings, but plenty of room for us so we made our way. As we walked up, I heard a small girl (maybe 5 years old) say to one of the moms pushing a toddler in the swing say, “Mommy, I have to pee-pee.”
Mom replies, “Go find a tree.”
You read that right. “Go find a tree.”
So her daughter walks over to the closest tree to the swings, which happened to be about the same circumference as when you touch your fingers from both hands together and make a circle. Needless to say, there was no hiding what she was doing. I’m trying to get N to stop standing and watching this girl while she lifts her dress and completely removes her panties – bare bits for all to see. She then sits completely down on the grass and, I can only assume, pees.
Meanwhile I’m mortified, trying my best to ignore what’s going on but trying to get N to walk away from her and get J loaded in the swing at the same time. I tell H to go get him, and since she missed the little interchange, she was really confused.
Now, at this point, I run into a dilemma. Do I say something to this woman (who by the way answered “no” when her friend asked her flat out if there were bathrooms at the park) and risk sounding really bitchy and starting something in front of all these people? Or do I just ignore it and pray this woman and her children never come to this park again?
As I wandered around with the kids, I realized that the reason we go to this particular park is because it’s clean, well-kept, and free from adults just looking to “watch the cute children.” It’s not creepy or dirty. It’s what a park should be.
So over by the slide, I had my chance to say something. I was with N, and H was off somewhere with J. PPG’s (Pee Pee Girl) mom was by the slide with PPG’s little sister. So I say, in a very nice voice, “Oh, hey, just so you know, there are restrooms over on either side of that little building over there.”
She’s obviously a little taken aback by my approaching her on this, and she says, “Oh. Oh. Thanks.”
Then she says, “It’s just hard to take both of them in there at the same time.” She looks at N, “You might feel differently if you had two.”
Starting to get pissy, I say, “I do have two.”
“Oh.” She says.”I’m sorry if I offended you, I, uh, just normally go to a park where they don’t have restrooms.”
“It’s cool. You didn’t offend me. I just thought you would want to know.”
“Well, I’m sorry if I offended you.”
“You didn’t. It’s just not very clean.”
And I walk away.
A few minutes later, she approaches me again. “I’m really sorry if I offended you, I just, my mom’s in the hospital, and…”
I interrupt her, “It’s ok. You didn’t know where they were, and now you do.”
Now, here’s my question. When is it EVER ok, in a park full of people, in full view of houses across from the park, in full view of everyone IN the park, to allow your young daughter to flash us all as she URINATES in the open area of the park? Whether there are public restrooms or not is immaterial in my opinion. I really wanted to give this woman a major piece of my mind. But I was good. I really really was. I basically realized that if it had been someone else other than me who saw it happen, I would have hoped they would have said something. God forbid her daughter had to do something other than pee.
The funny thing is, I think she was really mortified she got called on it. Because she was there with friends – another mom who had a one year old. It’s not like she couldn’t have left PPG’s little sister with her friend to take PPG to the bathroom. But her friend wasn’t all that bright either. Just before we left, our friend T noticed that the one year-old was climbing the slide structure all alone. This structure has a large drop off one side (which is why I always follow my two as they go up). The baby’s mother was nowhere to be found. So T was there making sure the baby didn’t get hurt. When the baby’s mother finally came by, T asks her (just trying to be nice) “How old is she?” “A year.” “Wow, she’s tall.”
Mom replies, “Well I am her mother.” Ok then. Because nobody ever becomes a mother by any other means than birthing a child that shares 1/2 of their DNA. Nobody has ever adopted her children, or who knows, had children with a short man perhaps?
So, since it was apparently crazy day at the park, we went to lunch.
And I really wish I had made this story up.