Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Passive Aggressive Behavior

There hasn’t been much sun yet this summer. The clouds are still hanging around taunting us, trying to convince us all to lemming ourselves off the Aurora Bridge. There have been sun-breaks, though, and those make life worth living right now.

We were taking advantage of one such sun-break the other morning. It happened to be a day when Lucy was up early, and we had already watched Sesame Street and eaten breakfast, been to the grocery store for two dinner ingredients I was missing, returned a DVD to the video store and dropped off overdue library books and it was still only 9:30AM. One of THOSE mornings. So, thank God for sun, right? Take the kid poor to the park and burn up all that energy and focus on a good nap (for everyone involved).

We went to a small park nearby, and we had it all to ourselves. It was heaven. Lucy ran around everywhere, going up the stairs, down the slide, to the rocking toy, over and over and over. And every time she would say “Mama, Yucy show you!” obviously so proud of herself that she could hang and swing on the bar or make it up the ramp all on her own.

And then other kids came. Except it wasn’t other kids with their parents. It was a group of 12 kids with their day care teachers. The kids were maybe three and four. Much older than Lucy, and faster. And the two teachers sat on a bench a little way from the park equipment and started to discuss something with their arms crossed oblivious to the children. The kids set up camp on the top of the slide, on the swings, on the rocking toy, in the tunnel from the stairs to the slide, and they wouldn’t let Lucy play. Lucy was confused.

Hello?! Park! Public! It's not like we were crashing the school yard!

At first, I started getting in there “She’s much smaller than you!” and “We share with each other at the park!” and “She’s just little, she doesn’t understand you don’t want her here.” And then I got super raging mad and the teachers still ignoring the kids and started talking louder. “Sharing is the NICE thing to do!” and “Be careful, she’s just a BABY!” and finally “NO PUSHING!” At that point, there’s no way the “teachers” didn’t hear me.

To add to the craziness, some lady set up camp at one of the picnic tables drinking her take-away coffee and smoking cigarettes. Oh, did I mention with her big dog off leash? WTH, people?

By that point I was totally past my boiling point. Normally, I’m cool with confrontation. Get it over with. Tell it like it is. That’s how I like to deal with things and be dealt with. Normally, I would go up to the teachers and tell them in no uncertain terms what I thought of their “skills” as “teachers” and how irresponsible if Lucy or one of the other children had gotten hurt from the pushing ON TOP OF THE PLAY STRUCTURE let them know that I would be writing a letter to the owner of the “school” and BLAH BLAH BLAH! AND YOU! LADY WITH THE DOG…!

But no. I don’t know if I was too tired or too mad or what - I think probably I didn’t want to say out loud all the words I was thinking with Lucy on my hip - but the passive-aggressive Midwesterner in me came out. I grabbed Lucy, who wasn’t ready to go yet, and stomped past the “teachers” saying loudly “We can’t play here any more because THOSE children don’t know how to SHARE.”

That'll teach them. Sigh.

1 comment:

Kate P said...

No, it's not just you!

My mom had a similar incident happen when she and my SIL took my niece & nephews to a museum--and then were invaded by crazed field trip kids.

They're missing a real opportunity to teach kids common courtesy.