This is something that happened this summer. I’m not proud of it. But it happened, so I’ll put it out there.
I pretended I wasn’t Pippi’s parent the other day. Only for just a brief moment. Not exactly my shining moment as a parent. Well to be more exact. Parenting FAIL.
It all started at a park this summer. I was there to meet a group of girlfriends. Only none of us realized the park had a wading pool.
Said pool opened an hour after we got to the park. Pool warden “Mr. Frown” took his job very seriously. The rules: No kids in pool whilst filling. (yelling at children)
No feet in pool whilst filling. (yelling at children)
No throwing rocks in pool whilst filling. (yelling at children. specific children. children crying now.)
No smiling/laughing/screaming/looking at or near the pool, whilst filling. (more yelling)
It took 45min to fill the damn 1/2ft pool. Surrounded by 48 kids under 3, and their scrambling mothers. To keep them all out. of. the. pool. (yup you guessed it…more Mr. Frown yelling.)
Then they were allowed in. But more rules from Mr. Frown. And his now whistle (and yelling).
We got to play for a total of 30min. Which included the stripping down of wet clothes to underwear. (Had to try and dry them before jamming them in a carseat. And the underwear was a last minute, group effort of all girlfriends following the herd mentality: Mr. Frown can’t kick all our kids out of the pool if everyone is in their skivvies – right?)
Only just as we were leaving, Pippi slid down a slide. In her white underwear. The “top of the nature trail, down the dirt path to the wading pool area” slide. And ended up with mud on her behind.
I coyly mentioned maybe she should go for one last dip in the pool before we go.
Mr. Frown (again) began to yell at
the children, a child, my child. I turned around to see my diligent daughter in the pool, her underwear off and now in the water, and not covering her bum. I continued to turn and face my girlfriends. We were all horrified. (Not sure if I was more horrified that it was my child in the nude, or that Mr. Frown was yelling like a banshee again.)
Then he began yelling at her to show him her “momma”. Dear Lord. And I was singled out as I ran over to my daughter, who was more angry at this mean, large, loud, power-tripped man than she was scared. As a matter of fact, I was SCARED of this mean, large, loud, power-tripped man. When we got out of there Pippi spoke.
“That man was RUDE Mom. He shouldn’t talk to people that way. He isn’t nice to kids AT ALL.” I agreed with her.
Parent fail. Child win. Way to go Pippi. My heart sings for this child who has a true north within herself that guides us both some days (nude or not).