Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Indoor Play Areas

I'm not a huge germophobe (or at least I don't think so) but there is something about an indoor play area that tends to have me running for the hand sanitizer. Maybe it's the kids running around with bare feet or the unidentifiable objects "stuck" to the play equipment or maybe its the dusty carpet - take your pick. On the other hand I think it is great that there are areas that parents can take their kids for free to run around when it is cold outside. Either way, I needed to make a trip to the mall today and I thought we might as well make our trip worthwhile so I took Anna over to the indoor play area. There were only about 10 kids there so it was much less crowded than normal. Anna and I found a corner of the play area where I didn't fear for her being trampled by the bigger kids and hung out right there for about 20 minutes. Anna found a lilypad that was only an inch off the ground and decided to stand on top of that for most of the time and watch the other kids. I too found it fascinating watching the kids and parents interact and it made me wonder what is the proper "playground etiquette" if such a thing exists. I watched as one kid beat on another boy with no parents coming to intervene, a little girl ran crying to her mother that the same boy had hit her and yet again as the boy doing the hitting chased a little boy from the play area into the mall - - once again no parents seemed to be concerned. Being the bystander should I have jumped in even though it didn't involve my child? Should I have taken off down the mall to make sure the little boys didn't get lost? I had no clue and instead with each incident would look around for the parent to make sure they saw what was happening. I'm actually glad that Anna is rather shy and chose to sit with me rather than try to jump in with the other kids - this is definitely not where I want her to pick up her playground manners. At last it was time for Anna and I to leave for a little boy had taken off down the mall with our stroller. Where are the parents??

No comments: