Fucking seriously?

So after I picked up the kids from daycare, H took N and went over to our friends’ house to help with carrying a mattress up their stairs.  So B (our nanny) and I took J to the park right by our house. It’s a short walk, short enough for the kids to walk and not get too tired either before or after playing at the playground. It’s a small playground with 2 swings and one play structure.

So we get there with J there is a father with two young boys there. The younger was about 4, maybe 5, while the older was no more than 8. J loves to go up the ladder to the play structure instead of the steps, and as she is doing that, the younger boy climbs up (there’s really no room for more than one, and it’s sort of like a chain link rope style ladder) and sort of shoves Julia on his way up. I wait, thinking the father will do something but he doesn’t. So I walk over and ask him to be careful because she is really little. No big deal.

2 minutes later, J is standing at the top of the slide (a side by side deal so two kids could go down together) and the two boys are trying to stop her from going down, either by trying to climb up when she is starting to go down, or by taking all the wood chips from underneath the bottom of the slide and putting them all over the slide. Dad still does nothing.

So I ask them to stop – “C’mon guys, let her go down the slide, she’s just a little girl.” Nothing. Nothing from dad. So I wipe all the wood chips from the bottom of one of the slides, and tell J to go down. The boys do it again. So I say, “Alright, cut it out, that’s not nice” and wipe the slide clean. Dad pipes in “Don’t touch my kid.”

Excuse me?!?!? Don’t touch YOUR kid? Your kids have been pushing and shoving and blocking a 2 YEAR OLD GIRL (who by the way is about the size of a 14 month old) and you’re telling me not to touch YOUR KID?

That’s not what I said of course. I feel my heart start beating really hard and my throat feels like it’s closing. I realize I can’t say anything coherent because I’m so intensely protective of my daughter that all I want to do is beat the living shit out of this guy. Which of course I wouldn’t do, because I’m scrawny and certainly never been in a fistfight in my life. Despite the fact that I would never ever do anything like that in front of my daughter. I never want to provide that example for my daughter.

So I say, “I didn’t touch your kid. I wiped the wood chips off the slide, since your boys seem to want to go back and forth blocking her from going down at all. They are purposefully being antagonistic.” But the truth is, that was as far as I could get. I look at B, and say to J, “Come on, let’s go to another park, one without bullies.” Luckily, J did not melt down leaving the park (I think she really sensed we weren’t in a good situation).

Now, this was one of those situations where I clearly wanted to pick my battles, and I didn’t want to go up against a bigger guy verbally because I got the sense he would quickly get physical. He was speaking to his sons in Russian (or something close to it) and I was uncomfortable confronting him further as a woman, because I got the clear sense that he had zero respect for me and clearly saw no problem with his older boys bullying a two-year old girl, what little would he think of shoving or hitting me?

How do I hold my daughter and tell her mommy made her leave the park because the mean boys and their dad were being bullies. I feel like somehow I failed her, by not standing up to him. My mom says I should have called 911…but what good would that have done? By the time I got through to someone, they certainly would have not had time to come deal with squabbling parents at the park. My fear now is that we run into him again. What do I say, what do I do? Do I turn around and have the kids melt down? Do we go and see what happens, possibly risking all of our safety? I just started to feel like we were in a safe neighborhood. Now I feel like keeping my kids at home.

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4 thoughts on “Fucking seriously?

  1. This pisses me off to no end. At least once a month, more in the summer, we had to leave a park because some asshole’s kid was pushing my kids around.

    I am mouthy and opinionated and I say stuff to the kid so that the parents can hear. I have NEVER had a parent say anything to me. They know that their kid is being a bully. They trained them that way.

    Now, IF a parent ever confronts me. I will stand up to them. Male or Female. I am sick and tired of these people, who are not training their children to be good people. This is only going to get worse as they get older and unfortunately, we are going to have to train our kids to deal with people like them.

    I hope you do run into him again so that you can kick his ass! Walk softly and carry a BIG STICK!

  2. That is so maddening! I have seen it time and time again. Parents are not teaching their children turn taking, manners, or how to apologize! It is unacceptable, IMO.

    You have every right to be at the park with your little J and have it be a safe place for her to play. You spoke well to him. Go back to the park and play! Don’t let this man keep you away from a great place for your family. If you do run into him again and his boys behave the same way, react just like you did today, but stay at the park! You can’t allow him or his boys to bully you!

  3. Yeah, collective ass kicking is definitely needed.

    But on the flip side, you also taught J to listen to her instincts about an unsafe situation and to be safe above all else. Don’t underestimate the importance of that lesson.

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