As you sit five strong at your picnic table beside the crowded playground, chatting it up, I've been holding my six year old daughter’s hand, helping her be brave enough to approach the play structure. One eye is on my four year old son who is running around with your kids.
It’s a gorgeous day at the park. Two more days of spring break. Kids dart all over the place, and my daughter squeezes my hand extra hard whenever another child gets too close. It's very loud.
When it becomes apparent the stimulation is too much, we look for swings. Swinging soothes her. It’s a solitary activity, that allows her to observe the action, without being right in it. When a swing finally opens up she climbs on and begins to pump, high up to the sky.
She's smiling now.
I wander back to the playground to check on my son.
Soon there is screaming.
One of your boys walked right in front of her swing and she is terrified of hitting him.
It takes me a minute to soothe her.
Riley, it’s okay. You’re okay.
She starts swinging again.
But your boy sees he got a rise out of her, so he runs in front of her a second time.
Terror for her.
I ask your boy three times nicely to stop running in front of her swing, but he ignores me.
She screams. She cries. My son runs from the playground to stand near his sister's swing.
Typical moms. Are you really so engaged in your conversation that you don't hear her? Do you pay attention to your kids at all?
He does it again.
I lose it.
"I NEED YOU TO STOP RUNNING IN FRONT OF HER SWING. NOW!"
You flip your heads my way and flash me dirty looks the remainder of our time at the park.