Monday, November 16, 2009

A day at the Park

On Saturday Amelia, Jake, Bela, and I took a nice leisurely walk to the park across town. Andrew and Aaron were at Lego League. Aaron is in charge of a lego robotic league at the kid's school. It's pretty amazing what a group of 10-13 year-old kids have been able to accomplish but that's a whole other blog entry. This one is about my habit of being a judgmental jerk. I wanted to treat the dog to a nice outing since she had to endure getting her stitches removed the previous day. My plan was to allow her to roam leash free at the park.

Upon our arrival there were three other kids playing in the sand. I didn't want to spook them or their parents so I kept Bela leashed. There was a group of four adults sitting together in tennis skirts and shorts loudly discussing a mutual friends recent tummy tuck. On the other side of the park was a mom on a cell phone. I inwardly judged all of them. The group for their topic of conversation and the mom for her cell phone use. Parents on cell phones at the park infuriate me. It's a major pet peeve right up there with people who talk with food in their mouths.

My dad was really big on if you don't have something nice to say don't say it at all. In an effort to be nicer to humanity, more like my dad, I am trying to be less of a jerk not only on the outside but also the inside. My first instinct is almost always to judge and that's just a huge negative waste of time. Seriously, who am I to judge? I am the lady who has stuff routinely fall out of my car when the kids open the doors because we ride around in filth.

I tired to convince myself that cell phone mom had an urgent issue she was dealing with. As for the tummy tuck crew, they were just different. I played with the kids, I played with Bela, I stopped judging the people at the park.

I laid down in the grass at which point two round faced boys stood near me and looked at Bela. One of the tummy tuck crew moms shouted across the park "DON"T TOUCH IT!" The boys whipped their heads around to look at their mom. "We can't touch it." they said to me nodding at Bela.

Excuse me! It?! Really, did that grown woman just call my dog it? I looked at my cute dog and then glared at the back of the rude ladies head. Than I snapped out of it. I thought okay that lady has dog issues, maybe her kids are allergic, deathly so. Maybe she was the victim of a dog gone wrong. Do not judge, do not judge. I thought to myself .

While I was chanting that in my head I saw the round face boys fill up a plastic cup with sand and throw at cell phone mom's kid.

"Don't play with us." one of them said while the other yelled "You aren't our friend!"

Cell phone kid was shocked then outraged.

"I AM TELLING ON YOU!" he shouted

He hightailed it over to the tummy tuck parent crew and announced "THEY" he motioned toward the boys who were pretending not to hear him "Threw sand at ME and said I am not their friend!"

The crowd of chatty parents barely acknowledged him and then the mom that called Bela It said "oh, they're little, honey." and then she continued talking to the rest of the group. When the boy went back to playing I heard on of the dads say "What an annoying little kid."

I looked at the "little kids" and realized they were both older than Amelia. Cleary old enough to know better. I wanted to stomp over to the group of parents and tell them how annoying I thought they were and what a poor example they were setting. Then I thought do I really want to get into a verbal argument with a group of parents at the park? Aren't I supposed to be playing with my kids? Why am i so concerned over the antics of the people around me? Do I want this day to be ugly or pretty? I choose pretty. However I did get a big chuckle when cell phone kid yelled " I'm glad your leaving." to the tummy tuck crew when they were getting ready to leave.

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