Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dear Man Watching Me Play On My Phone While My Kids Are Playing At The Park

Dear Man Watching Me Play On My Phone While My Kids Are Playing At The Park,

I am a SAHM. That's Stay At Home Mom if you don't know. I get up every morning before my husband to feed the baby or snuggle with my kids on the couch while I wake up and become someone who can function. I may be tired in the morning because I was up every hour or two with a newborn or every few hours with a toddler, or a few times to calm a scared preschooler who had a nightmare. I may sleep with my kids, which never allows full sleep because every time they move I wake up a little to make sure they aren't falling off the bed or kicking their sibling or father.

After I've woken up, I change diapers and get breakfast ready. I pack lunches and go over my to-do list for the day which always includes carving out time in the day to do something special that each child wants to do. I plan small surprises for my kids because I love to watch their eyes light up when they see that I've found her favorite tutu for ballet or his Franchesco car he was looking for yesterday. After my children eat breakfast I get them ready for the day. We pick out clothes, brush hair and teeth, and if I have any girls, we pick a ribbon for her hair. Then change it to a headband. Then change it to pigtails. I may take some of my kids to school, but the little ones that don't go to school, those are the ones I get to play with all day. After we come home from dropping their sibling off at school, we play with their favorite toys. We drive Franchesco on train tracks and I hold her hand while she spins her ballerina spins. I laugh and take pictures, posting them on instagram and face book, because these moments are precious and fleeting. I text their father at work, sending him a picture of his daughter in her ballerina outfit, one he will probably make his wallpaper.

After playing, we have lunch. At lunch my children ask me questions and I answer them. We see who can crunch the loudest and I remind them that if they want to be big and strong and smart, they will eat their veggies.

After lunch we play some more, this time maybe a puzzle or a preschool matching game. Then they have nap time. While they are napping I clean up from lunch, and start to prepare dinner. I clean what ever part of the house needs it, and fold laundry while they are finishing up their nap. After their nap I take them to the park because we have thirty minutes before we need to pick up their sibling from school. At the park I watch them behind my sunglasses, holding my breath when they look like they may fall off that first step of the play structure, or worry that the kids she wants to play with will say she can't play with them. I take pictures of them playing, and then sit down on the bench and upload them to fb and instagram again, making sure to tag grandma because my daughter is telling me, "show Grandma that I made it across the monkey bars all by myself!" I have spotty signal, so I'm concentrating on that while my daughter twirls next to me and my son calls for me. I don't reply to them because I'm taking five minutes to post some pictures of them. When I'm done posting the pictures I will reply to them, this teaches them patience and also shows that I was paying attention.

Then I notice a man watching us. My alert is activated and I take my kids to the car before they were ready because when a middle-aged man watches you and your kids at the park you have to assume he's out for your kids, or going to write an article about the five minutes you weren't watching your kids. Either way, you don't want to be near him.

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