What Not to Do at the Playground

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This is the first spring that we’ve really been able to embrace park play areas and playgrounds with the minions. Last spring they were barely crawling around the grass, eating whatever dirt or rocks they could get their little hands on. This year they’re running around like maniacs, so we’re always looking for fun new places for them to wear off a little bit of energy. When you’re looking after two toddlers everyone needs to wear off a little steam.

There is a certain etiquette surrounding parental and child behaviour at the playground that Chris and I haven’t quite mastered because we’re novices at toddlerhood and all of its nuances. I get that we have two kids and that we shouldn’t Bogart the baby swings for too long, but there are other things that we’re just learning. This is why I have created the following list:


1.Arm your children with cookies, comment that they’re chocked full of peanuts, shellfish and gluten. Be sure to encourage your kids to share said cookies with their new friends at the park.

2.Don’t stop your child from dunking their cookies into the sand/gravel/ground before sharing.

3.After your child has shared their shrimp nut cookies with random children, call them over to you because it’s time for their worm medicine.

4.Take tons of pictures of your children while encouraging other children to pose with them. This type of friendly stranger behaviour makes other parents comfortable and puts them at ease. Talk about how you’re going to post these photos on every social media site known to man. Ask random stranger children their names so you can tag them in your posts using GPS feature.

5.You know that random militant two-year old with the empty ice cream bucket? The one who keeps filling it with sand, climbing to the top of the slide and then dumping it over and over again, all while intimidating the other kids at the park? The kid whose mother is yelling at someone on her cell phone while filing her nails on the park bench? Let your daughter steal his bucket. It will be epic. I promise!

*This is an excerpt from a post on my blog.  Read the entire post click here.

SaraBeth is a Toronto based writer.  Her blog Multiple Momstrosity was named one on Toronto Mom Now’s 2012 Top 30 Mom Blogs.  She is a two-time veteran of the Three Day Novel Writing Contest.  She lives in The Junction with her husband and fraternal toddler twins (Molly & Jack).

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Sara is a Toronto, Canada based writer and working mom of multiples. Her blog, Multiple Momstrosity was named one on Toronto Mom Now’s 2012 Top 30 Mom Blogs. She is a two time veteran of the Three Day Novel Writing Contest and has written an unpublished novel, This is You Without Me. She lives in “The Junction” with her husband Chris and spontaneous fraternal toddler twins (Molly& Jack).

8 thoughts on “What Not to Do at the Playground”

  1. as a mom of a peanut and tree nut allergic child… THANK YOU. I know this was intended to be funny, but I love that you put it out there.

  2. Not funny to joke about food allergies. They are life threatening to a lot of people including my daughter and should be taken seriously. Not sure why you think it is comical.

    1. I can understand that a parent who deals with life-threatening allergies would not find this post funny. I hope that other parents, however, would be inspired to think about the issue.

      My own children fortunately have no food allergies, but I grew up with severe food allergies that my extended family refused to take seriously, often landing me in the hospital. I think that humour has the potential to reach parents who otherwise might not be open to even considering why we ask people not to expose other people’s kids to allergens.

      I think that what SaraBeth managed to point out that sharing food may seem harmless to those parents who don’t deal with allergies, but that it is something we need to teach our children to be thoughtful about. I’ve taught my own girls to always ask parents before offering to share food, especially with younger children who might not have the awareness or self control to refuse a tempting treat, no matter how dangerous.

      1. The article I mentioned above in the Huffington Post really got me thinking about allergies and public places, which is why I wrote the post. There are so many perspectives to debate here – this was not meant to offend, but to continue this debate and information about awareness of what you’re doing in public places. We try so hard to teach our toddlers to share and by arming them with potential alleric food we’re doing more harm then good. My children go to a nut free daycare, so they have no exposure to “off limits” foods and would think they were being kind by sharing.

  3. A related anecdote: At my daughters’ dance recital, the dancers were asked to hold hands to go out on stage for curtain call. My daughter J was at the end of our line and reached out to grab the hand of the first girl in the next group. Her mom swooped in with a wipe and asked to wipe J’s hand, explaining that her daughter had severe allergies. She was clearly steeling herself for an argument, so when I gave J instructions not to touch anything at all after her hand was wiped, the mom was visibly surprised. A little bit of support in place of judgment goes a long way.

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