The playground. My worst nightmare and a greatest saviour.
If you are a parent, then you are already familiar with the benefits of playgrounds, especially if your kid is not going to kindergarten or school. Not only your child can learn to interact with other kids and practice their social skills but they can also get much needed physical activity. Added benefit is definitely the fact that you can finally get a breather from being the center of their world and main conversation partner. But for me, a socially awkward individual, the playgrounds can be a nightmare because I never know how to act among the other parents who always look more parentish.
But this is why I spend more time observing so I can bring you the list of the parents you can meet in the playground.
- Alpha mom
Alpha mom scares me so much. She is prepared for any kind of situation and she is in total control every minute they are in the playground. Not only that she will have all the best snacks, enough toys for everyone but she will also be ready for any accidents. First aid kit? She has it. Poonami? Don’t worry, she has a change of clothes. Kid wants to eat something you never heard of before? She will have it in her bag. She knows all the good parenting techniques you heard of and probably invented some.
- Joiner Mom
She is always there with her kids no matter if their child is playing football with some other kids, or going up and down on the slide. She will be right next to them to offer a supportive hand. More often than not you want to push her off the slide because she is making it impossible for your child to get near it, or she is taking the last available swing, but it is actually admirable how involved she is.
- Encouraging dad
My husband belongs in this category and he is embarrassing me every time we go to the playground. It doesn’t matter what is she doing, he will be there encouraging her. You can do it! You are doing amazing! That is the best way to climb up the step! You are a champ! That is the best pile of mud I have ever seen! The downside of this is that Emily now believes she is a Superwoman. The toddler area of the park is not enough for her anymore, now she is tackling the equipment for older kids.
- Ultra-protective dad
They have a special place in my heart. You can always hear them running around the playground and their constant flood of warnings. Be careful! Watch where are you going! Don’t go there! Are you cold? Are you warm? Are you thirsty? Watch your step! You can almost hear their raising heartbeats every time their kid starts to run.
- Competitive mom
No matter how hard you try to avoid them you will never succeed. They will always manage to sneak up on you and then the questions will start. How old is she? Is she speaking? Going to potty? Knows the alphabet and all the numbers? Can name all the presidents? No? Her kid knew that since he was 8 months old. But don’t worry, she has a friend who was in the same situation. I wasn’t worrying until just now, thank you very much.
And then you have me. Hiding somewhere in the corner pretending to read a book or being “super busy” on my phone, actually keeping an eagle eye on Emily and doing everything I can to stop myself from becoming an Overprotective dad.