August 10, 2014

Playground Facades: Pt.1

I had only been there five minutes when I spotted them.
The playground personalities.
The cheerleader. The bully. The show-off. The helper. To name a few.
They were all there.
I watched them wear their facades completely unaware of my see-through-it superpower. Why facades? Because every parent wants to appear as kind, patient, and in control. But on the playground, the personality jungle, truth always emerges.

Oh wait... Let me be clear. I'm not referring to the kids.
This is all about the parents. The adults. 
Kids just are. They wear no facades. But "grown folks" try to put on a show.

And there I was, that day, reading 'em like a best seller.

A trip to the park is usually good for us parents. There are other cubs to play with. Which means that we're temporarily off the hook from climbing kiddy contraptions and fitting into tunnels we're not sure we'll get out of. 

We are left to chit-chat (uncomfortably) together. Or to jabber on uncontrollably, telling our life stories, happy to have another adult listening to us. There is only so much goo-goo gaa-gaa a mature mind can tolerate! We also sometimes sit like statues, anti-social, stalking our offspring. But either way, facades are worn tightly enough to smother an elephant! 

 The Cheerleader    

These are the overly enthusiastic, loud for no reason, annoyingly cheerful parents who believe their cub can do A-NY-THING. Instilling confidence is great but listen up. If your cub is too afraid to venture down the kiddie slide, he/she will NOT be sliding down a playground pole just for the hell of it! There's no need for you to make up a cheer while they're kicking and screaming! Give 'em a break and don't be in such a rush to teach pole-sliding maneuvers. Honestly, I'd try to stay away from that skill these days! 

One more thing, please turn the volume down on your word-hole. The rest of us don't want to hear you yelling over the playground rowdiness we're already trying to ignore.

The Bully            
Keep both eyes peeled on this one. These are the parents who feel that their cub is entitled to anything at anytime. These parents sit and watch as their cub tries to jump places in line and runs around pushing and shoving with no regard for others. They terrorize the fun. The bully parent is unphased by wrecklessness and rudeness until the same treatment is reciprocated. Then it's no longer funny because their cub can do no wrong.

Well if you're that parent, here's a warning from a parent who doesn't tolerate bullying. If your cub has to go home with a new knot on his head because he pissed off the wrong kid, then so be it. I don't condone violence, but sometimes a person is simply "asking for it" and needs to be taught a lesson!

 The Show-Off        

You're in for an America's Funniest Home Video moment watching these parents! Just wait a while. They believe they can do a-ny-thing their cub can do and ultimately that none of the other parents can do (or so they assume).
They seem to need more attention than the toddlers and will do almost anything to get it! The Show-Offs also love to be complimented and asked questions about their own awesomeness! It's almost like they have an agenda to prove that age truly is just a number. So... good for them! May their bones be strong and prosper and their genitalia in tact!

The Helper

Awww. You can't help but feel a heart tug (more like dagger stab) toward these parents. They are ALWAYS ready to lend a helping hand. Almost to the point of doubled-over nausea! They want to save the world. They want to protect every child from a fall. They have advice for anyone who will listen. And if you don't want to talk or listen, they can diagnose your reason why.

The helper has a ready band-aid for all boo-boos, extra snacks for hungry kids, enough bubbles to form a community shower, and sidewalk chalk for days. They even come with sandbox toys galore! Now whether or not they are packing some extra sanity and sleep to pass out, I don't know. Where these parents go wrong is that they become seriously annoying. They always leave me with a "please just sit down and leave me alone" feeling of urgency.  

The playground personalities. There are many of them that I left out but these are the ones I ran into on this trip. Ya love 'em, you hate 'em but the playground wouldn't be the same without 'em. Each has their time and place to shine and are sometimes a needed presence on a crazy day! 

And I know you're wondering which personality I fall under. But uh, uh, uhhh. I'm not quite sure if you're ready to dive into that one just yet!

All images found via Google.

Which personality are YOU on the playground? Do you know? Have you thought about it? Tell me your experiences and thoughts on the subject. Be sure to follow me here and on my other social media sites. Stay connected with ALL things Thriller Mom! Thanks for reading!


  1. I fall into the anti social don't talk to me crowd. I just want to sit and watch my kids play...I'm not trying to be rude, but I don't want to make a five minute friend.

    1. I was like that for a loonng time! But I've actually met a few ladies that ended up being great playdate partners. I guess it still depends on my mood. Thanks for reading!

  2. I can't stand the Bullys. They let their kids get away with everything damn thing and act like they don't know their kid just pushed someone else's kid off the slide. I'd have to say I agree with the top comment. I'm not into the 5 min park friendships. I rather read a book.

    1. I don't like the bully's either. And I am one of "those" parents that will TOTALLY tell you to keep your kids away from mine. Foot in Mouth Disease runs rampant in my DNA. Whoops!

    2. Luckily, I haven't had to deal with the bullies when it comes to MY KID. I'm quick to tell you what's on my mind or if I see possible trouble, I'll relocate to another area. I don't want my cubs to see me "acting a fool." Thanks for reading!

  3. I seriously LOVED this post! A little different than your "norm"...but SPECTACULAR! You should submit this to Huffpost Parents!

    And I think I am in the group that comes to the park to get a dang break, and ignores my kids from the bench while I try and get some blogging done. Not gonna lie. I mean, I don't let my kids act a fool, and I glance at them occassionally to make sure they are behaving....but they are kids and they NEED to play and they NEED a break from me too! Not all parents agree with this, but whatever. Don't judge me. I won't judge you. ;)

    1. Thank you!!!! I'm happy you enjoyed & the thought of submitting some posts have been circulating in my mind for a while. I may just go for it! I'm too paranoid to take my eyes off my girls for longer than a millisecond. People are just too dang ridiculous these days. But I'm able to get a break either way when I don't have to play! Lol =) Thanks for reading!

  4. I don't miss the school playground one bit. Having children of 17 and 14 means I can get away with not hanging around the other Mums. When they were little though it was always the Mums that scared me more than the children.

    As for what personality type I fell under as a school playground Mum?...That would probably be a mouse. Other Mums probably thought I was quiet and didn't really have a lot to say, little did they know that I was actually petrified of them all!

    I think your post sums up some Mums very well. Popped over from #SHINEbloghop.

    1. Thanks for stopping by from SHINE. I so enjoy that link up! And I agree. It's the moms that are the scariest! Lol! Be sure to look out for Part 2 of this piece. You just may find your "type" there. Have a great one!

  5. Hilarious. My type must be in Part 2. I really don't do well associating with other adults on the playground. I watch my kids, guide/correct their behaviour if they are making poor choices, snap a couple photos, swat at the mosquitoes, and that's it. I smile politely at the other parents but yeah... that's it.

    I really struggle with the helper who thinks my kid is doing something too dangerous... when they're saying, "Watch out, you might hurt yourself." I have a rule on the playground... I don't lift my kids up to do anything. If they can't do it themselves, they're obviously too small for it. If they can manage to get up to something, they most likely can get down. If they're nervous, I'll coach them through it but their bodies have to be able to do the work (my only exception is the swings... I will push them on the swings).

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.