“If you don’t come here right now we are leaving!”
This seemed to be the mommy mantra that I heard repeatedly on the playground in Van Saun Park yesterday. It was such a gorgeous day yesterday that my husband and I decided to escape the city and visit a more suburban playground. A favorite of ours is Van Saun Park located 15 minutes across the Hudson River in Paramus, NJ. The park is awesome. There is a small zoo which is free right now, a carousel, and a huge, newly renovated, awesome playground.
We were so happy the weather was good and we were able to spend the entire day outdoors. But as we followed Jack around the playground my husband and I began to notice a common phrase being repeated over and over again by many different moms. “If you don’t come here right now we are leaving.” Or, “If you don’t come here right now we are going home.” At first we thought that it was just one mom saying it, but when we realized it was many it was the only thing we could hear.
Parents left and right were yelling, shouting, and some thankfully quietly telling their children that they were all going to leave if they didn’t stop. It became so annoying after a while that I really hoped that they would leave. Sadly, they didn’t and I couldn’t help wondering why they couldn’t come up with a more realistic threat.
Van Saun Park is a park that you have to drive to, unless you live really close by. I know that when we pack up Jack to go to this park we bring lunch and plan to make a day of it. The last thing we want to do is leave. So, I wasn’t surprised that the parents weren’t keeping their word and leaving.
Trust me I am no stranger to the empty threat, the second chance, the empty promise. We’ve all been there. But one of the first things that I learned way back when I was studying to be a teacher was to “Say what you mean. Mean what you say.”. It is so true. It was true in the classroom and it is true with a toddler. If you say it, mean it. Toddlers know when you are full of shit.
We heard lots of things at the park yesterday that made us want to laugh. One woman made us laugh when we overheard her telling her daughter that if she didn’t get down off of the rocks that they were going to have to go the hospital. When her daughter asked why the mom listed all the injuries that her daughter could incur while climbing the oh so dangerous rocks. They were smooth rocks only about 3 feet high meant for families to sit on while watching the monkeys.
There was also the “DON’T YOU STEP IN THAT MUD!” mom. It was fun to watch her endlessly scream at her son for running through the mud only to run through the mud herself after him. When she would catch him she gave him the good ole, “If you do that again we are leaving.” If I remember correctly we left before they did. 8D