An afternoon at the park is no walk in the park

March 27, 2011 at 10:52 am Leave a comment

I took all three to the park by myself one afternoon last week after I picked them up from school and will not try that again for awhile.

On the way there, we went through the rules: No running in the parking lot and  no crying when I say it’s time to go. But I didn’t envision all the scenarios so didn’t cover all the rules. 

The older boys were using somebody’s shovels in the sand and when the mother came to ask for them back because they were leaving, both boys said no. She told them she was going to load the car and they could play with them for one more minute then she’d come back to retrieve them. During her absence, I told them they needed to give them back to her, they weren’t ours, she was letting them play with it, blah, blah, blah. I didn’t want to grab the shovels from them because I wanted them to give it to her on their own.

When she came back and asked for them, Zachary told her no, he was building a sandcastle. Jadon said no, but then gave it to her when she asked again. Then she took it from Zachary and he started crying. Not because she took it but because he wanted to give it to her. I translated and she gave it back to him to give to her and then she left.
Then it was time to go but Zachary was upset because he wanted to go on the swing. So I said, OK, 2 minutes on the swing and then we go. Then Jadon wanted to go on the swing (I was holding Adam this whole time). Then Zachary went on the grasshopper toy at the other end of the playground and then started playing with another kid and his toys. Meanwhile I had packed up Adam in the stroller, had Jadon with me, who was hungry, and called across the playground to Zachary. No response. I even heard the kid’s mom asking Zachary, “Where is your mother?” I assume noticing me on the other end looking at him and calling to him. Nothing. So I had to walk around the playground to get him and as we were walking through the parking lot, he told me he wanted to go to a restaurant next and have macaroni and cheese. I told him we were going home for dinner and he got upset and started crying that he wanted to go to a restaurant. I told him we’d discuss it in the car but that didn’t appease him. (Disclaimer: It was after a day at school and because I hadn’t planned on going to the park, I had no snacks so a bad combination of tired and hungry).
Then Jadon darted into the parking lot and I had to grab his shirt to prevent him from going into the path of an oncoming car. So I picked him up, pushed the stroller while I carried him and headed to the car, with Zachary screaming and crying behind me about wanting to go to a restaurant.

It was one of those moments when you feel like every eye is on you in silent agreement that you have no control of your kids. I wanted nothing more than to get everyone in the car, go home and never go back to that park.

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