Sunday, August 23, 2009


My head is still spinning at something that happened to us this morning, at the park of all places. I have heard of such things happening, but never before to us.

We went to a park we've been to many times, we were there at 9:30 because it's very popular and can get out of control busy. The girls favourite ride is a flying fox, you pull them back and they whizz down and then you drag them back for another go. One side has a chair with harness for the smaller children, the other a pommer type seat for the bigger kids. We arrived, no-one else having a turn so straight on. I strapped in Leila first and Geoff helped Ella on. Before Ella was even on a boy a similar age to Ella appeared from nowhere, before she was seated, trying to grab hold of it from Geoff saying "I'll push her". No thank you we said the first and second times, but this kid would not let go. Now Ella wasn't properly on and Geoff was trying to hold her and the seat, while basically fending off this kid. No parents anywhere to be seen. In the end I had to firmly say - "Mate, let go, it's not your turn and you're NOT pushing". Then he just stands there saying "I want a turn".
In this situation, where there is a ride others want to use, a ride that lasts perhaps a minute, my thinking is that it's reasonable for a child who has waited can have around 3-4 turns - that's really a maximum turn of 5 minutes, it goes that fast. So, I say to this kid - "she's going to have 4 turns and then it's your turn" he's the only kid waiting. Geoff pushes Ella and I'm pushing Leila. During the 3rd push a guy we discover is his father turns up. As Geoff pulls Ella up to the end and as we're saying to her and this horrid kid, "last turn Ella, next it's his turn", the dad starts mouthing off. He starts saying, "you can't monopolise the ride, 5 or 6 turns is enough for anyone, it's time for someone else to have a go". Geoff replied, "mate, she's had 3 turns, this is her last go and then it's his turn"; "Mate, I think that's enough, time for someone else to have a go". My dear husband starts getting annoyed and replies "MATE, this is her last turn, your kid's okay so just hop out the way and let her finish her turn", well from there it degenerated "I'm trying to teach my kid about sharing, you f******t".
By this stage it's getting decidedly uncomfortable so I step in "excuse me, mind your language there are little kids around here" and I get told to shut the f*** up too! I then said "your kid was trying to pull our daughter off the ride to begin with, where were you then". But honestly, it got really unpleasant, really unpleasant.
Geoff and I were talking about it after and he said perhaps the guy saw us talking at his kid quite sternly when Ella first got on the ride, perhaps that's why. My response to that was that he should have come up then and asked if there was a problem, discussing it like an adult, rather than assuming we were picking on his kid. I don't know about you, but I have found that the worst behaved kids, have the most moronic people for parents. There was no reasoning with this man - it went on, he called me names after I physically made Geoff leave, he was thoroughly charming, all in front of his kid. It has left me with a bad taste in my mouth.


Bek said...

Ugh, what a horrid experience.

His behaviour just doesn't make any sense to me! Why be so aggressive about waiting an extra 20 seconds for his kid to have a ride? I have had this sort of experience before and it is so infuriating and befuddling at the same time. I do the same thing that you did and try to figure out why they might have behaved in that manner, but often it's just because they are so egocentric.

(and I am by nature very non-confrontational, so I kinda freak out!)

May you never run into him again!

Jasmine said...

How awful! And what a moron he must be to say he's trying to teach his kid about sharing when all the while he's really teaching his kid to be rude, crass and aggressive to perfectly decent strangers!

Sounds like you and Geoff handled it well. I'm sure I would have crumbled on the spot.

Christie said...

Glad you were there together, it would be horrid to deal with someone like that on your own.

Funny how bully parents breed bully kids, the apple does NOT fall far from the tree.

We have been lucky not to find ourselves in a situation like this, but I have often found myself in a situation where I have had to deal with a bully child at a playground with a parent/carer nowhere to be seen or conveniently NOT paying any attention to their child.

If your parents can't model decent, reasonable behavior, what chance does a kid have...

PS obviously that father was too busy teaching his child about sharing (!?) to teach him about appropriate language too, maybe that's his focus for next week's life lesson!?

Leonie Guld said...

Bugger the prick, be proud you married a gem, a true gentleman that kept his family safe! Good on you for choosing a good fella, there's a lot of chicks that don't!!

Anonymous said...

At least it didn't get physical. This could have had a very different ending. You didn't venture into the city on a Sat night, just to the park! Ratbag kids are one thing, but parents are another. yikes!

Melanie said...

Wow, what a truly horrible experience. I'm not sure how I would have handled that at all, I think you did rather well actually.

It's a bit sad that the kid doesn't stand much of a chance of changing his colours.

(Also... I suspect that this is a playground familiar to us. Will keep an eye out for bully dad - and hide if I see him, I think!)

Sandy said...

Yes, I agree with all the other ladies. What a horrible encounter! I would have been fuming mad (on the inside), but to be the best parent to our children and for them to learn from our example, we need to be models ourselves. I feel for the little boy because he doesn't have the best dad to show him good and decent behavior. I hope this incident is soon forgotten.

Belinda said...

How truly awful - no wonder the boy is such a little so and so.

Was having a deep and meaningful discussion last night with a dear friend about the subject of bullying.

It's such a frustrating situation. Here's hoping you don't come upon this fool again. Don't allow him to make you feel uncomfortable about returning to the park though.

Anonymous said...

You've really got to wonder don't you? Do people use confrontation as a way of behaviour because they are unhappy themselves? Why are people so quick to be defensive and turn situations nasty? Smile and rise above it is the best way to go (not fair that the kids have to hear it though).

Melissa said...

jeepers . . . some people . . .