Yesterday I took Jane to the playground. Not an unusual occurrence. When the weather is nice we try to go once a day. I'm not sure if I'll manage that schedule once the temperatures soar, but I digress.
We got to the park -- a short walk away -- and there are a few other families there. Two moms with three kids between them have passed out those rocket-shaped ice pops that are startlingly red, white and blue.
I did have some wipes in the stroller, thankfully, so I wiped away in front of Jane while she climbed to the slide (and I was only half paying attention as I was invited to a new moms group by someone I knew who was leaving).
It was so stressful. Mostly the mess, but now that I think about it
those sticks were a choking hazard. One of the kids is about 2 and
another is probably younger -- about Jane's age. The oldest was 4 or 5
and talked to me while I cleaned -- saying her ice pop wasn't melting on
the ground (it was just getting all over her hands and dress before it got to the ground).
The mess kept coming, as the kids stood and gaped at me, while the moms were oblivious. Jane wanted to swing after one time down the slide, so we did that while the other kids continued to get things messy and sticky -- not just the slides/climbing equipment but also several of the riding toys that are around the park.
The moms had a pack of wipes and cleaned up their kids a bit -- and finally told them "You've had enough. Three is plenty!" to much screaming and crying while the box with the rest of the ice pops was thrown in the garbage. But they didn't use the wipes to clean up the playground equipment. If it had been their stuff that kind of mess wouldn't have been allowed and the kids would have had to sit to eat, but since it's communal property who cares? (Their kids afterward got in the sandbox, so I can't imagine the mess their cars would be in ... or how they were going to get them cleaned up before going home since they were both driving luxury SUV type cars.)
I have seen these moms many times, and I know I'll see them again -- at the park, library, etc. So I couldn't bring myself to ask them to clean up the mess, in part because I knew I wouldn't be able to contain my venom. I really wish I had though -- even a simple "would you mind cleaning up the slides and tunnel? They're all sticky from the popscicles."
I did make a snide remark to a grandma who was pushing her grandson in the swing next to ours -- "I've never seen anything like this mess here." And she agreed it was ridiculous.
Thankfully Jane didn't want to climb anymore -- otherwise I would have had to waste more of my wipes cleaning up the gunk. Today it rained and rained and rained, so I'm sure everything will be unsticky when the weather clears and we next go to the park.
I should be less judgy, right? Meh.