Friday, December 18, 2009

If they make a sequel to Lord of the Flies . . .

. . . I know what the setting should be - the Sooner Mall "PlayPlace".

Let me say first off, that so far Davie is angelic. She is so sweet and kind. This is all the more aggravating when some rowdy 3 year old pushes her down for no reason.

I understand the idea of the "PlayPlace". A little temporary escape for your kiddos to burn off some energy and you can rest your barking dogs. However, this little refuge is abused by parents who sit idly by texting or people-watching or doing anything but keeping an eye on their offspring. And it seems to be the parents of the bullies who aren't watching.

The other day Steven and I took Davie to the PlayPlace at Quail Springs for a bit. The little angel takes a while to warm up to new people and places, so she kind of stood there on a little toy for 7 or so minutes just watching the other kids. She was standing right there on the edge when a little boy jumped down beside her and then slowly started ooching her off the side. She started crying before she even fell down. I went to comfort her, and the boys dad went to make him say he was sorry. Then the dad walked away leaving the boy there where he was. Ah well, I thought. So I carried Davie to a new area and let her go. Steven showed up and I told him the little story. So we both were keeping our eye on the boy. Then the boy walked up to where Davie was kneeling, got up in her face, and then stood up and kicked her in the rear! She cried again. This time the dad went to the boy and said, "We don't kick people." Once again, he walked away leaving his kid there to continue playing and bullying. I took Davie to a new area and let her go again. At one point the boy started walking very closely behind Davie, preparing to pounce, and Steven leaned over towards him from where we were sitting and said, "Hey. You need to leave her alone," in a stern voice. The boy ran off. Steven got a phone call and walked out to have his conversation. The boy walked toward Davie and started to get in her face, and she just burst into tears out of fear!!! Break my heart in to a million pieces. I ran over, told the boy to stay away from her, and then we packed up to leave. The rest of the day Steven and I were seething over the boy and his dad. If that were my child, there would've been more than a reprimand - maybe not letting him play anymore, or something more concrete. I told Steven we were going to put her in self defense classes as soon as appropriate, and I was going to teach her that it is okay to beat up people that are bigger than her if they are mean to her or other people, but that she must always protect people smaller than her no matter what. He laughed at me, but I am serious!

Then for some reason I felt we would try again at the Sooner Mall PlayPlace. It was even worse. There was like 30+ children, and maybe 4 parents sitting around on their phones. The big kids were running wildly by knocking into the small ones. They were climbing up the slide, while the little ones were trying to go down. It was insane. Was I the only one watching the children?! I had to tell some kids to stop climbing up the slide, and to go up the stairs if they wanted to use it. They didn't really listen to me. Jerks. So I have banned the PlayPlace from our repertoire of fun things to do. Sorry Davie . . . I'm sure you don't mind.

1 comment:

Amanda Aragon said...

TJ refuses to let Faith play in those things too. Just think... you're protecting Davie against bullies and every disease between here and eternity.
They'll thank us later!