Talking to Other People’s Kids at the Playground

posted in Family Outings, Funny Stuff Kids Say, I do occasionally leave my house on by with 33 Replies

I’m just going to come out and say it:

I have absolutely no interest in talking to other people’s kids at the playground.


I don’t mean kids that I know, like my friends’ kids or something.  And if a kid or a parent needed help I would be happy to do what I could, and I would never, ever be rude to a child, but I have three little kids of my own.  Even when my husband and I take them to the playground together, it’s constant helping and monitoring and making sure the one-year-old doesn’t kill herself.  So I just really don’t want to have a conversation with a freakishly friendly five-year-old.  I have enough kid stuff on my plate as it is.  You can call me cold and grouchy if you want, but let me just tell you about what happened last time I was at the playground.

My husband and the three girls and I were taking a snack break on a bench.  I was doling out pretzels and Kix.  Captain Chaos kept dropping Kix and then wanting to pick them up off the ground and eat them.  I told her to leave them there and a squirrel would be super excited to have a treat.  Chaos said, “No!  I don’t want a squirrel to eat my Kix!  Where is the squirrel?  I don’t want to see a squirrel!  He can’t eat my food!

Poor lil' squirrel would be all over those Kix.

Poor lil’ squirrel would be all over those Kix.


Calm down, crazy-pants.

I have no idea why she was all worked up about a theoretical squirrel, but then I had to tell her that I didn’t see any squirrels and they were probably shy, and blah blah blah.  Then, before I could stop her, The Enforcer hopped off the bench and grabbed one of Captain Chaos’s gross playground-dirt-covered Kix and stuffed it in her mouth.  I almost said something about germs, but then stopped myself.  I just wasn’t in the mood to hear her thoughts on germs right then, and it’s not like it was really going to hurt her.

Anyway, there we were on the bench when a little boy came barreling toward us.  He stopped right in front of me and announced,

“My name is Scooter and I’m five years old.”

His name wasn’t really Scooter, but he looked kind of like Scooter from the Muppets:


and he had an equally weird name.

So after his abrupt introduction, I said, “That’s great!” and hoped he would run along and play.

He didn’t.

Scooter:  I have a living room!

Me:  Um, okay.  Neat!

Scooter:  And I have a field!

Me:  (Closes eyes and hopes that will make him disappear.  Doesn’t work.)

He’s still directing his weird announcements of inventory at me, and no one else.  Maybe because he’s a little bit scared of the twins who are looking at him like this:


Scooter:  I have a recliner!

Me: (Smiles and nods) (Grabs The Baby’s cup before it falls in the dirt for the eleventh time) (Where the hell are Scooter’s parents?  Oh, there’s his dad, looking kind of surly over there on a bench.  Can’t he call Scooter over?  Remind him about stranger danger or something?)

Scooter:  It’s my own little recliner.  It’s in my living room!

Me: (Sighs.)  Well, great.  That’s super cool.  Okay, girls!  Time to go play some more!

So we all extricated ourselves from Scooter’s attentions by heading over to play.  I was following The Baby around on the climbing structure while she walked up and down the same ramp fifty-two times.  Suddenly there was a scuffle at the end of one of the slides and I heard The Enforcer shout, “Hey!  You got sand on me!”  She sounded more surprised than upset, and I saw Scooter standing next to her, so I figured he may have thrown sand, or accidentally gotten sand on her, and it was no big deal.  I’m sure he was just trying to interact with her the way all little boys in the history of the world have tried to interact with little girls.  Get their attention any way you can.  At least get her to stop making the angry Obama face at you.

That was when Scooter’s dad chose to intervene.  He marched up to the little guy and said, really sternly, “Let’s go.  Now.”

I guess he has a zero-tolerance policy on sand incidents.

And then I felt really terrible for not being nicer to Scooter because he just wilted.  He actually hung his head and trudged dutifully over to his dad.  I couldn’t believe that he didn’t protest or whine or anything.  He just left, because he got a little sand on my kid, who was totally fine.

So damn it, random kids, don’t talk to me at the playground.  Because even if you’re a little bit annoying and I really don’t feel like talking to you, you’re just a kid, and I feel bad for you when your dad is kind of a jerk.  And now I worry about little Scooter and his field.  And his recliner.  In his living room.


This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post for the link-up hosted by:

Mommy, for Real

Can I get Another Bottle of Whine

Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic

Finding Ninee

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  • Christina

    “freakishly friendly five-year-old” hahaha I LOVE IT!

    • ShakespearesMom


  • Janine Huldie

    Aww, totally felt terrible for this little guy and I am with you though my two are enough to deal with and take care of when we are at the playground, too.

    • ShakespearesMom

      I know – poor Scooter.

  • Allie Smith

    That’s funny, and sadly, I can relate. I used to take my kids to the playground, so I wouldn’t have to talk to them, let alone a strange (as in one I didn’t know, not weird) kid!

    • ShakespearesMom

      It feels mean to say it, maybe because I was a preschool teacher for a little while, but I just don’t have the energy to deal with a stranger’s kids!

  • Anna Fitfunner

    Yeah, sometimes playgrounds can be tough places even for little kids. I imagine that Scooter will be okay, though, as he clearly likes to talk with people!

    • ShakespearesMom

      I really hope he is. I hope his dad is just strict, or felt embarrassed and didn’t know what to do, and nothing worse.

  • Kerri Ames

    HAHAHAHA I try everything to avoid that kid. I have been known to pull into a parking lot and say to the girls its too crowded just to avoid talking to someone else’s little nightmare. I have two of my own, I think to myself, no need to import any others. And where the heck is that mom! Probably taking a nap in the car 🙂

    • ShakespearesMom

      Oh man, taking a nap in the car, why haven’t I ever thought of that?

  • Michelle Grewe

    You know, I think what happens is us moms go crazy with the kids all the time, and in a desperate need of a break, we tell our men to take the kids to the playground, as a passive aggressive way of saying, “Get out of my house for at least 20 minutes.” And men, they are horrible babysitters. All men do it, even the nit-picking dads. I can tell by the way the children behave that a man has taken them out because they are free to do whatever they want. At the arcade once, this one child kept trying to steal the tickets my kids were winning, and then like my kid would put in a quarter, start playing, and this kid would just come in, bully her out of the way and play the game. The dad was standing around looking at his smart phone oblivious to his kid, and I was like, “That’s why. Dads. They just don’t know what to do with kids.” Of course, when dad said, “It’s time to go,” kid was a good kid halo on the head and left without argument or whine. I bet you anything the dad actually believes in his delusional stupid brain that his kid behaves better for him.

  • Kelly McKenzie

    Scooter! Go on and scoot. Oh dear. This just takes me back to the days of the playground and yes my little chap going up and down the slide 100 times, and the juice and cracker dispensing and yes, all the little Scooters coming over for a chat because their dad isn’t paying any attention to them. Man alive. My particular favourite was “I’ve got a big sink.” Really? How fascinating. Off you toddle.
    On another tangent that is sort of related because it involves being at the park – I remember when my two were really wee and we were at the park. I spotted a girl of about 8 zipping around the swings. Her legs were covered in bruises. Particularly around the knees. My mind went right to “child abuse.” Fast forward ten years. Same playground. Both my kids sporting heavily bruised knees. Can you say “Side effects from normal playing?” Oops. If I ever see original bruised knees girl’s dad again I’ll apologize for my angry Obama face.

    • ShakespearesMom

      Ha ha! A big sink is a hilarious choice for a conversation-starter.

      My kids’ legs are pretty bruised up too right now. They fall down and crash into stuff all the time. I hope no one thinks anything more terrible than that is going on – shorts season is coming up!

      On a completely random note, I love that you use the word “wee!” Are you Scottish? My husband and I got married in Scotland (he has Scottish roots) and the woman who did my hair talked a lot about her “wee girl,” and I just love that term.

  • Elizabeth Catalano

    I’m right there with you! Same thing at my park. This kid’s dad won’t play with him so he follows me around trying to get me to throw a ball with him. That’s right, me, not my daughter (she’s less interested in this kid than I am). Once I was with a good friend and was reminding her about my daughter’s birthday party and my Freakishly Friendly piped up: Can I come? Ooh. Awkward.

    • ShakespearesMom

      Sooo awkward! Poor kiddo. And poor you.

  • Kristi – Finding Ninee

    Aw, poor little Scooter! And yeah, I hear you. We have a little girl who is always at our neighborhood playground when we go and she’s totally annoying. Really funny post this week though and I think every parent can relate to not wanting to make small talk with a random five-year old!

    • ShakespearesMom

      I taught preschool for a while, so I think I’ve done my fair share of small talk with five-year-olds. It wasn’t as bad when I didn’t have kids of my own and I was getting paid 🙂

  • Stephanie Sprenger

    YES. This drives me absolutely nuts. Sometimes I don’t even want to talk to my own kids at the playground. (Oops- did I just write that?) This made me giggle!

    • ShakespearesMom

      I hear you. I do enough “Mm-hm, that’s great” and “Okay, honey” kinds of talking to my own kids, too.

  • Amber

    I never know what to say to other kids. I usually say, “That’s nice,” over and over again. Sometimes I’ll go, “Where’s your mommy?” hoping the kid will get the point. They usually don’t.

    • ShakespearesMom

      Yeah, kids are not so great with subtle hints. But what are you going to do?

  • Tarana

    Haha! I know what you mean by freakishly friendly! Right now my experience in kids only goes up to toddlers, so I have no idea how to engage in a conversation with older kids, or adults for that matter.

    • ShakespearesMom

      Well, since kids make it pretty much impossible to have conversations with other adults, at least you’ve got that excuse.

  • KatiaDBE

    HA! I have to admit I was going all split personality reading this. My son IS Scooter. He is five, as of today, has no social barriers, no fear of “stranger danger” and he constantly narrates his life, as my friend Deb at Urban Moo Cow once put it referring to her own child. I always feel very uncomfortable as I observe him engage in a lengthy conversation with an unsuspecting stranger. I know that people have lives to get back to, but I don’t want to tear him away too abruptly and hurt his feelings, so I usually say “okay…” about 17 times before it works. This was very funny, great post!

    • ShakespearesMom

      I did think about that when I was writing this. I didn’t want to make any parents feel bad about their kids, because that’s totally not my point. Kids can’t help it, and I never want their little feelings to be hurt.

      Thanks for having a sense of humor about it!

  • nikkiham

    Totally got me on the ending…I thought it was going to end with you being distracted by Scooter and one of your kids falling and hurting themselves. But oh, my heart broke when Scooter wilted! I agree, for me it is like cats…I am sorry if I offend anyone, I don’t like cats. I am allergic to cats, so every cat will rub on my, jump on my lap etc. At the playground Scooter saw you being great to your kids, so he wanted to rub on you and jump on your lap…well, you know what I mean! LOL! Ha! The price of being a great parent, you will draw other children, who want your love and attention too!

    • ShakespearesMom

      You’re very sweet to say that, but I’m not sure he was attracted to my niceness. I was probably grumbling about the dirt-Kix when he came up to me 🙂

  • Kerith Stull

    Oh my… Love the story! I so agree about talking to other people’s kids (as un-PC as that might be to admit). I force myself, but it’s ain’t easy. Once they get to be teenagers, they can actually become cool and interesting to get to know. But, little kids.. where do you start? (Visiting from FTSF!)

    • ShakespearesMom

      Little kids are so tough to talk to, aren’t they? I have taught preschool and high school, but I have a harder time connecting with elementary-school-age kids. Maybe when mine are that age I’ll figure it out.
      Thanks for reading!

  • Christina Arceneaux

    I can be terribly talkative myself. And no, you are not callous. It is difficult just to take care of your own. Although I always feel bad for these kids like, aren’t there adults at home who care what you have to say? But I suppose the outgoing kids are always looking for a new audience. Great post!

    • ShakespearesMom

      Thanks! I’m sure someday Scooter will find an audience to appreciate his commentary. Maybe he’ll be a talk show host or something.

  • Jessica Williams

    I have always had trouble talking to kids. I usually end up saying ‘awesome’ and ‘that’s cool’ way to often!

  • Alysia Peters

    Love this.