Now, I am not claiming to be a saint, or anything, but I sure felt like one at the park today!
Anslie and I were playing in the wood chips on the playground this afternoon when along came Isabel and her daddy. I thought to myself, 'how nice to see a father bringing his daughter to the park,' and I was doubly impressed when I saw that he even brought snacks and milk with him. Way to go dad, right? Wrong.
Dad sits little Isabel down, whom I am guessing is around 3 years old, and picks, and nags, and criticizes everything she does; "Drink your milk, Isabel! Go play on the slides, Isabel! No, you have to finish your yogurt before you can play! Isabel, stop playing in the wood chips- they're dirty! Do this, don't do that, blah blah blah." This all happened within the first 30 seconds of their visit.
Once poor little Isabel finished her yogurt she was off to the jungle gym, with dad's close supervision, of course. "Slow down! Slide down this slide! Don't hang on that! Be careful! Don't stick your head through there! Stop running! Don't crawl-you're not a baby! Come play over here! Take another drink of your milk! You can't do that because you're wearing shorts! Let's build a "casitas" with the wood chips" (that he stearnly reprimanded her for playing with just minutes before).
Anslie is still a little young to be playing hard on the park equipment, but, as her mother, I feel like it's my responsibility to show her how to climb the stairs, slide down the slide, etc. Maybe she will suffer a few bumps and bruises along the way - she'll learn from them and as she grows she will know how to play with the other kids safely and without fear. She needs the exercise and the stimulation and I think it's really nice to have something else to look at besides the four walls of my house. I try to encourage her to explore and be independent and praise her for the discoveries she makes, both on her own and with help. Sometimes I worry that others think that I am "too hands off" or that I am "too uninvolved" because I let her run ahead of me or play on her own. But if being a "good parent" means acting like this guy, I'll take my chances.
I think Isabel and her daddy were only at the park for about 30 minutes and I was really tired of him just in that short period of time. Good luck, Isabel. I hope your mommy balances out your parenting.