Saturday, March 30, 2013

Parents Suck. The End.

It's nearly midnight, and I can't sleep.  I know what's keeping me up, and I know that I won't sleep until I purge my system, so to speak... therefore, I write.

Disclaimer:  This is going to come off sounding like I'm holier than thou, and I really don't care.  It's going to come off sounding like I'm complaining, and I really don't care.  I know it's neither.  I'm getting this off my chest because what happened today was insanity.  And by the way, I'm a fierce competitor.  And my girls will be, too.  But seriously?  This was just too much.

Today, Benny and I took the girls to an Easter Egg Hunt.  And there's your first clue as to what the coming vent will entail.

We had gone to the South Ogden hunt last year and had a wonderful experience.  My plan was that we would take them again this year, but we got a late start on the morning and before we knew it, it was too late to make it.  So, we decided just to hit the hunt at the Dinosaur Park.  We took the kiddos and let them play on playground while they set up each age groups hunt.  The hunt was supposed to start at 10:30, and at about 10:15, they opened up the gates for all of the 1-4-year-olds to stand around the outside of the small field and stare at the hundreds of eggs just waiting for them.  Unfortunately, there was some miscommunication somewhere down the line as to start-time, and we stood there staring at the eggs for 30 minutes.

With kids from age 1-4, you can imagine that after a while, some of them just couldn't take it.  There were sobs, screams and tantrums galore.  But not my girls.  They stood their quietly watching the eggs... I like to think they were planning their attack.  I imagine that Hazel's attack plan went a little like this:

"I'm gonna get THAT pink one, and then THAT pink one, then THAT pink one, and then THAT pink one!"

While Millie's was more:

"I'm gonna stay by sissy and do what she does, mkay?"

And had I known what was about to happen, I would have pulled them aside and said:  "Look kiddos, what I'm gonna need you to do is run to the middle of the field and start picking up eggs."  Yea, that would have been the way to do it.

It's midnight and I still can't believe what happened.  I'm still disheartened by the insensitivity of parents.  I'm still aghast at just... everything.

There are no words to describe how my heart broke when those two little girls - who stood waiting patiently, without crying or screaming, for 30 minutes staring at a field of plastic eggs - did not get a SINGLE egg because the parents of the other children there swarmed on the field like locusts helping their children pick up the eggs.

This, after the management repeatedly asked parents to stay back and only let children on the field.  It was announced repeatedly prior to the hunt and I was all:  WE KNOW ALREADY!  LET'S GET GOING!

I think that Benny and I were the only ones there that got it, because when they finally let the kids go, the rest of the parents pushed and shoved their way to the front of the swarm and helped their kiddos pick up the eggs.  Some even doing it on hands and knees, effectively blocking any forward progress for anyone behind them.

After staring at them patiently all morning, suddenly, my girls couldn't see the eggs.  Shoot, I couldn't see the eggs.  Their view was blocked by the legs of all of the parents in front of them.  Benny and I stood back and watched it happen.  Because at that point, there was no way we could have done anything to help.  We were just as shut out as the girls were.  I kept scanning the ground behind the mass to see if maybe someone had overlooked one or two eggs... but nothing.  I'm not sure the hunt even lasted a minute... and the eggs were all gone.  Every single one of them.  Our girls were in the middle of the field emptyhanded.... watching kids with buckets absolutely brimming with eggs running around excitedly. Seriously? You helped your kid get THAT many eggs and didn't think that maybe it was too much?  Or that maybe they didn't need your help and you should have stepped back?

To their credit, neither cried.  Hazel was sad, though.  She just held on to Benny's leg and looked around with a question on her face.  She didn't really understand what had happened.  Millie was fine... because she's still to young to understand that adults are super stupid sometimes and also... that she'd gotten screwed.

Mommy, though... Mommy was near tears.  Because I could only think about Hazel's excitement as she held on to her basket and waited for the signal to go... her excitement at seeing all those eggs... her pure joy when we told her she was going to get to hunt for Easter Eggs that morning.  And then to end up with nothing? Thank goodness for big sunglasses.  Sure, it was nice when one of the mothers who walked by and saw the empty baskets had her son give the girls eight from his stash of about 30.   I had to bite my tongue and actually thank this woman... who was part of the problem.  I had to THANK her.  I couldn't say to her in that moment that it wasn't the number of eggs that was the problem... it was the "hunt" that had been spoiled.  The sheer excitement of finding an egg, claiming it as your own, putting it in your basket and then running on to the next one. Our kids, if they'd had access to the eggs, probably would have ended up with maybe five each.  And they would have found those on their own... and would have been absolutely proud of those five eggs... and it would have been a great memory.

This parenting stuff is madness sometimes and there are times that yes... you do the wrong thing.  And I get it.  I do.  But to see how every parent today behaved?  As though their child was the only one there?  And who cares what the rules are and how many people you hurt to get them what you think they deserve simply because they're your child?  How can they sleep at night?  What did they teach their child today? 

It's MIDNIGHT and I'm still shocked by it.  Years ago, a friend of mine told me that she doesn't take her kids to public Easter Egg Hunts because of the parents.  And when she told me, I won't lie... I thought maybe she was being overly protective or dramatic.  Now I know... she was spot on.

And that's why I'm joining the ranks of parents who will never take her kids to a public Easter Egg Hunt again.


emily ballard said...

I heard how bad the Dinosaur Park Easter egg hunt was from another parent as well. The same thing happened to my older girls at a city-wide Easter egg hunt when they were about Hazel and Millie's age. Except the mother of the boy with the basket filled to the brim with eggs made her son give each of my girls ONE egg. Haven't been to a public Easter egg hunt since.

Ghenghy said...

That's just awful. My little girl is 4 months old now, and I was thinking about sweet it would be for her to do the community egg hunt when she's older, but maybe I'll rethink that. I would be in tears for her.

I'm wondering if those badly behaving parents are ones who got burned in the past and learned they have to ignore the rules to not end up empty handed. It doesn't excuse the behavior, but it makes it a little more understandable.

Amy said...

Saw this article and thought of you. I know about hocket and soccer parents being escorted out of the arena/field but I'm pretty sure Easter Egg Hunt parents would be able to take them in hand to hand combat.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

i'm late to catch up - and I totally hear you. Parents can be real a$$holes (self included). heartbreaking!