Friday, December 16, 2011

The Playground Scene

Only in South Florida can the playground be a "scene." I swear to God. It's ridiculous.

I thought I'd take my little one to the park to run around a little. They have bucket swings, which she likes and lots of slides, which she really really likes although she's too little to go down by herself and I have to hold her on my lap and slide down myself. I have as good a time as she does with that.

We have a really nice park pretty close to our house and I feel extremely lucky to be so near it. Baby Lawns loves it there and I like playing with her, but oh my lands, the people.

While I have lived in South Florida for over a decade now, I still haven't been able to come to terms with the people who live here. Where else on the planet do women wear heels to a playground? I'm not talking harried working mom still in suit and pumps. I'm talking women, and lots of them, who dress like they're going out for a night in South Beach in skin tight jeans, studded rhinestoned tees and four-inch platform wedges, not to mention freshly flat-ironed extensions and full faces of makeup. TO A PLAYGROUND. It is insanity.

I wear shorts and tee shirts and sneakers.

At least the mothers are taking the kids to the playground themselves right? At least they're spending time with their children. Sort of. If you can count standing on the edge of the play structures endlessly texting on their iPhones spending time.

And then they'll suddenly realize that oh yeah, they have kids, that they are at the park and they'll jam the phone back into their Louis purses and begin the awful hovering and micromanaging of play again, alternating smothering and ignoring their children.

Besides that, a lot of these moms are highly critical of their kids. I saw one mother, who had to at some point in her life danced exotically if you know what I mean, trying to play catch with her son who was about six. All she did was bitch about his pitch. His throw was off, this was wrong, that was wrong. I wanted the ball to bust her in her rhinoplasty. It was like she was coaching him to play in the big leagues already. I felt so sorry for this child.

Friday evenings the playground really gets hopping. Around five they all show up in a parade of flashy SUVs. The parking lot looks like a Range Rover dealership and out come the mommies in their high shoes and tight pants. A few, the skinniest ones, emerge in yoga gear but still fully made-up and baring their abs in half shirts that have pictures of lotuses and say things like "Namaste." Everyone has Starbucks - nonfat, Splenda, extra shots.

The kids are decked out in Janie & Jack and they proceed to run wild while the mommies pull out the phones and start thumb typing. They gossip with the other mommies. They talk about people out of earshot or not present. They complain about preschools, teachers etc. They compare notes on whose kid has achieved which milestone the soonest. Then they descend on their kids to interrupt their play with demands, directions and criticism. If a child comes to them while they're gossiping or texting, the child's mouth will promptly be plugged with a juice box or a yogurt cup.

I've never seen a single mom play with her child. I'm the only one. They look at me like I'm insane. I must be. I'm wearing Keds.


Robin said...

They might think you're crazy but you're definitely doing it right. :)

Anonymous said...

what the hell is wrong with people?

Anonymous said...

I took my son once to the playground in the Gold Coast neighborhood in Chicago. There were a couple of those types of moms, but other than that it was wall to wall nannies watching the kids. Must be more of a rich suburb thing. From what I've seen of it, south Florida is mostly one big suburb.

FreeDragon said...

When I worked at a day care, I was the only teacher who would play with my children. We played leggos, we colored, and I chased them round and round the playground. We all had fun.

Dawn said...

A) So happy to finally see a post. Missed you!

B) There is a suburban Philly version of that playground, and I know it well. You captured it perfectly.

C) I am happy you have your priorities straight. Keds, though? That's one kitty cat sweatshirt away from homeschooler chic!

rosie-b said...

Lol, great posts, good to see you're back. How goes the book?

Tam said...

Yep! I know these "Mommies." My friend, who is from Poland & is still perfecting her english calls these women "the Princesses."

When we're picking the kids up at school she'll smile, nod her head toward them and say..."here come the princesses." (It sounds cool with her Polish accent) They usually drive a mercedes, have beautiful clothes & are always LATE for the pickup. :)

Great post ~ not only in Florida unfortunately. Enjoy the slide ~ I find a little wax paper under the butt helps you slide a little faster.

JoeinVegas said...

Keds? With four inch heels, right?

Anonymous said...

Sounds about right. It's the same even here in Lake Worth, where I live. Except the moms here wear sequin studded Baby Phat pants.

daisy said...

Have you ever been to a football game at Joe Robbie SunLife Dolphin stadium? Probably near you.
It's the same women wearing the same heels and rhinestones. To a football game. To walk up and down stadium steps and have beer spilled on them by the slob next to them.
I wear shorts and running shoes and often feel out of place standing in line for the bathroom with all the fashion models.

fiona said...

Haha! It's universal - except here in Manhattan no one would be caught dead in a rhinestone tshirt - and they bring their nannies ;)

LegalMist said...

Holy moly! Every once in a while, I start to think I should "clean up my act" a bit and go to the park with my kids wearing something nicer than I usually wear, and so I'll put on a t-shirt or polo shirt that's *not* torn, and a pair of shorts that *isn't* frayed, and off I go. And I usually find I fit in just fine... so glad I don't have to deal with this fashion model thing in my neighborhood!!

Sadly, the hovering and micromanaging does go on... I wish more parents would read the blog at

Awesome food for thought.

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