Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Park carnage

On Saturday, Miriam and I rode our bikes to the park. That's what we call it, but it's actually me, on a bike, pulling Miriam in her bike trailer.

I usually take a book along with me to the park to read while she plays. I would listen to music on headphones, too, if I didn't think that would just be too much for the other parents. Sometimes I feel like everyone there is judging me for sitting by and reading (and ahhhh...listening to music if only I could) when I could be engaged with my little one. If anyone ever has the guts to bring it up with me, I will tell them that I get plenty of quality time with Miriam at home, being the wife of a PhD student who has his comp exams NEXT MONTH and all. So they can just have fun with their kids and I'll get my 15-minute breath of fresh air.

Anyway, while we were at the eerily named Children's Memorial Park, a 5-year-old girl the next swing over fell off and did a face plant in the sand. Her mom picked her up and ran her over to the drinking fountain/bathroom area, but not quick enough for the girl's older brothers not to see that there was blood streaming down her face from a nasty mouth wound.

The two brothers immediately announced in loud, excited voices: "There is BLOOD all over her FACE!!!!" and within about 10 seconds, every kid in that park had run over to the bathroom area to get a look at the poor girl.

Meanwhile, her mom was doing her best to clean up the screaming girl under less than ideal circumstances. Basically, she was trying to wash her face and stop the bleeding with the girl's shirt, which she was simultaneously trying to remove from her frantic child. All this while a big group of kids stood around and watched, providing plenty of grossed-out commentary.

Eventually, everyone settled down, the crowd dispersed, and that family went home. But the incident was not easily forgotten by the kids at the park. A good 20 minutes later, some little girls came up to me and asked if I'd seen "the bloody girl."

That poor mom. There are moments in motherhood where you just wish you could be invisible, and I think that was definitely one of them.


Jen said...

1. In my observation, lots of mothers in my area have approximately 1-2 hours per day when they are engaging their children. It's probably 1-2 hours of complete overstimulation and exhaustion for their kids, too. I'll stand on that soapbox with you, Bridget. The park is the perfect place to relax if you're a stay at home mom. I'm a one-woman show all day long...in the park, something else can take center stage.

2. I bet there's some kind of anthropological explanation for why we rubberneck....

3. It's always awkward when your child gets hurt in front of lots of other people

4. What book are you working on?

Crissy Bear said...

Ezra fell on the merry-go-round a couple of weeks ago and put a nice gash on the inside of his mouth. There was blood but luckily it was the kind that can mainly be spit out in the grass. I of course was freaking out. He was doing okay until I said we should go home to check it out better. Then he really freaked!

As for taking a moment I think each parent should have the right to make their own decisions. Ezra didn't watch any TV as a baby but then when he was 18 months and hadn't started talking a speech therapist asked us to let him watch some stuff so that he could start relating to the characters and hopefully asking for them. I remember talking to my cousin about it when he was two years old...about the different shows he watched. She got all huffy and told me she didn't let her daughter watch any TV. Later when I went over to her house I found out what that meant. The TV was on all day, JUST NEVER TO KID SHOWS! Yeah her daughter never watched sesame street, or Barney, or Between the Lions but she watched hours of soaps, Oprah, and PG-13 movies with her parents. I decided then and there to ignore all the parenting grief people try to give you. Everyone has their own equivalent of the book reading moment :)

Shannan said...

Bloody girl is akin to Throw-up Girl - both of which I have been the mother of. (but in my case, it was throw-up boy and bloody boy).

Alyson P. said...

If I sit at home and try to read a book, my kids get into stuff or they need a drink NOW! or any number of other interruptions that any mother could name off. If I take them to the park and read my book I actually get to read. I thought this was one of my most brilliant discoveries!

Bridget said...

Jen, at the park it was The Happiest Toddler on the Block.

Crissy, since I don't know your friend, that story is hilarious to me. And I'm glad to hear that there's another kid out there who isn't all that into TV.

Shannon, sounds like a story...

Alyson, sad but true.

Nattie said...

I'm glad to see there's a Hardy book that's not as completely disturbing as Jude the Obscure. Maybe I'll give him another chance. As for Happiest Toddler, I actually watched the movie...I'm sorry the writing style is sub-par.


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