Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Scary Park Adventure

What a beautiful long weekend. The guy on the radio said it would be the best we've had in years. He was right.

But if you asked my seven year old granddaughter she would say it was the worst.

When we pulled up to the park I had a bad feeling. I almost told my daughter that we should take the kids someplace else. Unfortunately we all voted and this park had the majority vote. We don't get out there much because it's a fair drive to get to and we have plenty of wonderful parks right in our home town. I really don't get the appeal so I kept my mouth shut and went along with everyone else.

The park was overflowing with people. I've never seen it so busy but then I have only been there during the weekday. This was a long weekend and they kids were just a flying around everywhere.

As soon as we got to the creative climber Honey Bunny said she wanted to leave. A perfectly good fun climber had been replaced with a few different types of activities and Faith did not like what she saw. I tried to reassure her that she would have a great time and to go ahead and check out that weird round thing. Nope. She headed for the swirly slide.

My other three grandchildren also headed for the slide.

How chaotic. There was a long line up. Big kids were running up the ladder past the little ones. Other children were climbing up the slide. No one was waiting for the coast to be clear - they were all going down and piling up at the bottom. And there were no parents around.

I was standing at the bottom of the slide to wait for my two youngest grandkids. It was making me nervous watching the kids walking up the slide not just for my babies but for those, those .... kids who insisted and going up the slide. I kept looking around for a parent to walk up to those kids but it didn't happen. I held my tongue for as long as I could. I had to say something. Wouldn't you?

I stepped closer to the slide so that I would be face to face with the child. I wanted to be sure they heard me and knew I was talking to them. I calmly explained to the child that the slide was for going down not up and walking up the slide was very dangerous. He could get hurt and hurt other kids at the same time.

I got a blank stare as he continued up the slide.

Luckily my grandchildren came down the slide incident free. But before I knew it the older kids were back to walking up the slide once they slid down.

Once again I politely told the child how dangerous it was and he could get seriously hurt.  A kid could slide into his legs and send him flying over the side of slide.

He turned away from me and walked up the slide.

My daughter and I agreed to leave the curly slide and persuade the kids to explore other parts of the park.

Honey Bunny was feeling out of sorts. She was feeling left out by her cousins. I think she was over tired from the sleep over. She'd say I was wrong but she is always overly sensitive when she is tired.

In hopes to make her feel better I took her over to the tire swing contraption - just her and me. She looked so sad at first but I managed to get a smile out of her as I pushed her higher and higher. I know she can swing by herself but she loves it when I push her.

I toke a break from pushing to take out my camera. I wanted to get a few more pictures of Faith on the swing. My memory card was full so I was busy trying to figure out which pictures I could delete.

All of a sudden Faith wrapped her arms around me. She was crying and begging me to go.

I was totally freaked out. What the heck happened in the few seconds that I was looking down?

There was a twelve year old girl sitting in the swing where Faith had been. She was just sitting there chewing on her scarf. A woman was standing near by with her daughter and asked if Faith was okay.

Faith was definitely not okay. She was shaking, crying and begging me to leave. I kept asking her what was wrong. What happened?

I finally got it out of her. Faith thought  the girl was trying to steal her. She was terrified that this girl would take her away and she would never see me again.

My heart was aching.  I had to figure out exactly what happened. How was the girl trying to steal her?  Apparently, according to Faith, the girl pulled on Faith's leg until Faith fell off the swing.

Okay. Okay. I took another look at the girl. She obviously did not have the mind of a twelve year old. More like five maybe younger. 

I calmly explained to Honey Bunny that the girl was not trying to steal her or hurt her. The girl simply wanted to go on the swing. In her mind Faith was in the way of having fun so she tried to move her. I told her that this is exactly what her three year old cousin would do and this young girl was no different. There was no malicious intent.

Faith was still very shaken but she understood what I was saying.

Now that I had Faith taken care of I had to be sure the young girl would be okay. Why was she unsupervised?

We stood there for some time. I looked around but there was no parent to be seen. I couldn't just leave without speaking to the girl's parent. I didn't want to tell them how to take care of their child but I wanted to make sure they were aware that she had frightened and hurt my seven year old Honey Bunny. I don't why. Would it make a difference? It wouldn't help Faith. Would another child benefit from it? I don't know.

When the parent finally arrived I tried to explain what had happened. I got a blank stare as he nodded and walked over to his child and started to push the swing.

I began to wonder if this man and the child walking up the slide were related?

Darlene NemethI love to read your opinions and comments. It makes my day.

Bye for now.
Wishing you the best, Darlene

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  1. Oh, I could ramble on about this subject, so I apologize if I do. But first, your poor granddaughter... It's sad when well-behaved kids have their fun time ruined because others can't follow the rules of respect.

    When my kids were younger, we had the same problem on a slide, and a boy -about 10- kicked my daughter in the face as she slid down. No parent was in sight, and I spoke up and told the kid to say sorry and stop climbing the slide. He told me to *bleep* off and take my kid somewhere else! I almost lost it, and his mom showed up as I was loudly asking "where are your parents". Long story short - She told me I had no business telling her kid what to do, and that I should have stopped my daughter from using the slide.

    The man you spoke to and the kid on the slide may not have been related, but they're part of the same breed; same as the mom and kid I dealt with. I call it the "un-parenting generation". They don't seem to realize (or care) how much their lack of respect causes problems and pain for others. I think a simple apology from the offenders probably would have made your granddaughter's day go a bit better.

    1. So true Jenny. It's unbelievable how thoughtless some people can be. Poor Faith was shaking in fear. I'm so glad I found a way to explain to her what actually happened in a way she could understand. Unfortunately her fear was real and she was quite traumatized by the whole ordeal.

  2. Wow you do not want to get me started on this topic. I hate going somewhere and watching as the parents totally disregard what their children are doing OR they sit there and say "No, don't do that" and yet make no move to actually correct the child. ARGH!! Glad you guys were ok, sorry you had to deal with it!

    1. You know I have never had to deal with this type of behavior on such a large scale before. We were in a larger city, same size park but way more people than we are accustomed to. With a crowd this big we were bound to meet a few more parents off in la la land.

  3. Wow...this is awful. Great job on your part though.

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  4. As the mother of three and a parent educator, this kind of thing happens much too often. Your children and grandchildren are so blessed to have you in their lives. Loving, caring *and* paying attention. It breaks my heart to see how other children are raised. It just isn't fair to them, is it?

  5. This was a very unfortunate situation all around. And we wonder why so many kids become the awful adults that they do.

  6. Unfortunately kids learn not by what we tell them but by mimicing our actions. So as you can see by the blank stare that you recieved from this man, Darlene, he obviously didn't know what you were talking about or he didn't care. I will also venture to say that sometimes it can be cultural. I had a huge culture shock when I moved here because the people are not as well mannered as I had brought up my kids and so we had a huge problem. They felt it was ok to treat other kids rudly and without respect. In general there is a lack of respect for the laws here so people behave as if they can do anything they want. You did well to take the time and explain it to Faith.

  7. It's so disheartening when children aren't given the proper guidance from parents. You showed a lot of patience, Darlene.

  8. Oh that story bought back memories when my kids were young and I hated to see them mistreated by older kids and parents that did not care. I was guilty of letting some of them know that it was not ok to treat others like that. You did well keeping it calm.

  9. This story gets me all riled up! I could go on about this forever. I know parents just like this!

  10. Thanks for sharing this recipe on Let's Get Real Link Up. Unfortunately kids are not to respect those in authority or elders as my Dad would have said. We need to teach kids to respect others. That is where to start.

  11. Your post certainly raises a lot of questions. I am appalled over the lack of supervision, especially these days. I don't even trust teenagers around strangers. Too many dangerous situations happen every day everywhere. I would speak up too.