Home > City mama, motherhood, the playground, Uncategorized > I’m an unbearable snob

I’m an unbearable snob

I am. Always have been. My silver is solid, my pearls are real, and I put a napkin on my lap at every meal. I don’t think any less of people who don’t have silver, but I openly mock those who have silver plate. If you’re going to do something, do it right, damnit. Eat good chocolate or eat no chocolate at all — there is no excuse for Hershey’s.

I have made my peace with this facet of my personality.

But every once in a while it manifests in an uncomfortable manner. Like this morning.

I’ve written, more than once, about my playground. LP, we’ll call it, since that’s it’s name. I like this park — it’s been recently renovated, it’s lovely, it’s very residential. There’s a great community around and in it. Plus, it’s not the park in Davis.

The park that’s actually in Davis is okay, a little rough around the edges, sometimes some shady characters hang out outside of it, and it’s frankly a little too old for The Child. More a 5-year-old kind of crowd. But it’s okay… except in the mornings.

In the mornings, it’s overrun with chain gangs.

If you don’t live in a walking neighborhood, you may not know what I’m talking about. But in urban environments, most day-cares and preschools dont’ have their own playgrounds — they use the local parks. And to get a large group of toddlers and young kids five blocks to the nearest playground, the have the kids form a line and hold onto loops tied into a length of rope. They look like 1920s chain gangs in one-half scale.

All well and good. Except that for some reason, the chain gangs that arrive at the Davis Sq. park are all made up of wild, loud, rough, and frankly, undisciplined. And the caregivers are either totally overwhelmed and just dealing with the worst cases or they just don’t care. The older kids roughhouse and slam into each other, running over the smaller kids. There’s swearing and screaming (as in, “Shut up in you stupid dick face!”) and totally inappropriate behavior. Last time I was there, an older boy reached out and essentially slapped The Child’s face. Then tried to push her down the stairs.

I pulled her away and glanced at the caregiver and she shrugged.

Then, as I was getting the stroller ready (you betcha I was getting my ass outta there), two boys ran over and tackle-hugged The Child. They were each at least four years old.

So I really don’t go there that often anymore.

But this morning, a chain gang showed up at LP. Ten wild and sugar crazed kids about 5 years old, maybe older even.  And I was pissed.

Now there was a rational reason to be pissed. There are two play areas at LP — one for toddlers and one for older kids. The chain gang,  all clearly older, were in the toddler area. Totally inappropriate and frankly dangerous for the younger kids.

But mostly I was… snobbishly pissed. Mostly the kids at LP have one caregiver per child — sometimes two, if there are siblings.  It’s a nice controlled environment. To have these kids invade with their blank-faced teachers, staring off into the distance, it offended my snobbish sensibilities.

I’m not entirely comfortable with that reaction.

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  1. October 17, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    I’ll have to search Feministing to see what they say on this subject….

  2. October 17, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    I don’t think this concern is about snobbishness at all…unless your feelings towards these misbehaving and undisciplined children overruning your child’s safe place is based on a snobbish attitude towards working parents who aren’t living the “silver” life and “doing it right” by staying at home with their children like they “should.” But that doesn’t seem to be it from your post. Instead, you have a natural and I think completely reasonable negative reaction to a bad scene all around.
    And I’m all about the napkins in the lap! I grew up in a house where we each had our own silver pepper shaker and crystal salt dish (WITH miniature spoon!). But I’ll admit that from time to time I like to eat on the floor picnic style to rebel against that.

  3. October 18, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    You’re a better woman than I am, Dark Side. I’d just be plain pissed, without the ethical hesitations. In fact, I even *am* a little pissed – we go over to LP every once in a while and I enjoy its peacefulness. I’m not too crazy about the chain gangs myself. Sigh.

  4. Raise Hell
    October 21, 2007 at 7:24 am

    I hate sharing playgrounds and Seattle is not playground friendly. When I lived in Alaska there were so many it was mind boggling. I would discover a new one every month.

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