Sunday, August 17, 2008

on the playground

I brought my kids to a playground on Friday morning. It was the perfect day to be out and about. The sun was warm, the breeze was cool....and we had the place all to ourselves. For awhile. It was blissful. My kids enjoyed each others company, and I used the moment for some quiet time with God.

Seriously, it doesn't get a whole lot better than that. A caramel latte would have topped off the morning PERFECTLY.

After nearly 30 minutes of alone time, another mom pulled up. The doors of her SUV opened and two small children spilled out. They ran over to the play ground. I'm guessing they were maybe 3 and 4. But, frail. The younger's steps were carefully measured on the shifting sand. The older walked much in the same way. They were awkwardly attempting to climb the steps leading up to the slide. I wanted to wind them up in bubble wrap.

Mommy never stepped foot out of her big rig. There were times when her children were well over 50 yards away from her, and out of her sight. So I kept them in mine. I was trying very hard not to judge her. Maybe her back had gone out? Maybe she couldn't walk? Who knows. All I could see were her two young children feebly wandering around the swings, slides, and a host of other playground equipment. After about 20 minutes, they were beckoned back to the vehicle, and off they went.

And that's when the daycare kids started showing up. More SUVs, with dozens of kids. The childcare providers sat at the picnic table farthest away from the jungle gym. Every once in awhile they would holler at Cooper and Bentley. In the most unloving of tones. It made me sick. I wondered if Cooper and Bentley's parents knew they were being spoken to like that. I'm sure Daycare Lady uses an entirely different voice around Mom and Dad.

I couldn't help but feel badly for these poor children, being watched by such crabby ladies. I couldn't see any of them being naughty or doing anything out of the ordinary for children on a playground. And yet, the only words being spoken to them were sharp and angry.

This was out in public. In front of other people. Can you imagine what it looks and sounds like behind closed doors? These Daycare Ladies were very normal looking. Young and stylish. The kids were well dressed and the vehicles they came in were all new.

I'm not sure if I even had a point in sharing this....

Please, though, if you have a child in daycare, drop in and see them unannounced. If they're going to the park, show up there and linger in the background for awhile. You don't want some crabby two faced woman "caring" for your child while you are at work. I'm pretty sure these people show their nicer side when the parents are around. I can't imagine any parent in their right mind allowing their beloved offspring to remain in such an unloving atmosphere.

1 comment:

dixie said...

Wonder if SUV mom would've gotten out if one of the kids had gotten hurt? You're much more generous than I am, to try come up with a justifiable reason for her not getting out of her vehicle. With kids that young, if you can't supervise them on an outing, stay home with them.

As for the daycare situation, that's just heartbreaking. I wonder if Cooper and Bentley ever tell Mommy how mean Miss Beth and Miss Tammy (picking names at random here) are and get "Oh, honey, no they're not." in return?