Yesterday the kids and I spent THREE HOURS wandering around a new local park we discovered. I just saw a small play ground and walking trail from the road a few days ago and decided to go check it out. Little is in a pirate phase at the moment, so we made an imaginary adventure of it. She dressed up in her pirate costume, brought along her pirate stuffed monkey, and her trusty plastic sword. I dug around in her toy box before we left and came up with several of her plastic gold coins planning on hiding them along the trail as we walked.
What I discovered after we began following the walking trail was an entire network of trails and different play grounds. We spent all afternoon exploring the different trails and stopping at each play ground. The Twins had their first swing experience in the big kid swings, and I found a secluded side walk area to let B1 run around til his little heart was content. It was really cool, and the weather was perfect. All of the kids had a blast, plus finally getting some extended fresh air and sunshine boosted my rather dreary mood to 11.
Little was excited to find a bunch of afternoon kindergarten kids playing on one of the play grounds. She ran around with them for a good while until they had to leave for school. I was a little embarrassed with my hair a mess and breakfast stains on my shirt, while Little was running around in her costume. It was very obvious that we were the odd ones out in the play ground social hierarchy as the other moms huddled opposite the swings and made snide comments not quite under their breath. I heard them critique my Little’s wardrobe and whisper about whether the boys were twins or not. Playgrounds really never change, the mean girls just get bigger.
I reacted the same way I always do/did in my youth and carried on having a blast with my kids. We looked like a hot mess, we were loud, rambunctious, I was crawling around in the mulch with B1, entertaining Little’s Pirate fantasy, hiding coins, and all of my kids were beaming with smiles and laughter. The one and only comment the “Top Mom” made to me as she was gathering her screaming kids to go was: “You have your hands full. Your kids are all so… happy.” To which I just smiled and said: “They keep me pretty busy. Thanks.” I’m not sure if it was meant as an insult or not, but whatever. I’ll take happy, loud, rambunctious kids any day over depressed, quiet kids, immersed in electronics. I could give two effs less what the other moms at the play ground think.
The whole incident reminded me of one of B2’s intake questions, that kind of pissed me off honestly: “What do you enjoy most about him?” What do I enjoy most about him? He’s my son! I enjoy everything about him. Our coordinator kept making it very clear that this program was to help me in anyway that they could since he was behind, like him being behind the developmental curve was some how a burden to me. Not at all. If I have to carry him until he’s four and ready to walk; then by God I’ll carry him until he’s four and ready to walk. I enrolled him in the program at the advice of our pediatrician to give him the best opportunities for his own future, not because I can’t cope with his delay.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to have these services available to me when I do need help. It just threw me for a loop that for some reason it’s okay to talk about these kids who need a little extra help like they’re somehow a burden to their parents. I didn’t become a parent expecting perfect little people to parade around as fashion accessories, or make my life easier. lol. I became a parent to have great pirate adventures, and enjoy the world through the innocence of youth a little bit longer.