Before we moved, both our children went to daycare two days a week which guaranteed chances to socialize with other kids their age. Since coming to the mountains my son has started Preschool, but with me being a househusband it makes no sense to pay to put our 2 year old daughter in daycare so she stays at home with me.
I worried that she was no longer getting to socialize with other kids in her age bracket (she is 2 ½) so was heartened to hear there was a Storytime Playgroup at the local library. I’m a big library nut and our kids love reading and being read to. In fact, we have a policy in our house – unless what we are currently doing is super important, if one of our kids brings us a book and asks to be read to, we down tools and read to them there and then. A love of literacy – every parent should encourage this in their kids.
So after dropping my son at Preschool, I took my daughter up to the Storytime Playgroup at the library which was due to start at 10am. I was initially heartened to see I was not the only male there, there was at least one other bloke there who has come along with his wife and two boys. But that was where the good impressions ended.
I thought that the sign said ‘Storytime Playgroup’, not f*cking ‘Bogan Junk Food Picnic!’
Let me give ya a rundown of the 4 other families there.
Group 1: The Chubbies
Mr & Mrs ‘Yes we will have fries with that’. Both of them looking comical sitting on little kids chairs which their massive arses spread over the edges of like spilled pancake batter. Their 2 bulbous boys were given pack after pack of Chocolate Tiny Teddies, I’m not sure their mastication ever stopped!
Group 2: The Lone Texter
Did this woman even have a kid? I don’t know, I assume one of the ones running around unfettered was hers. I never saw her take her eyes off her phone. She just sat on her prolific posterior on the floor, leaning her back against a bookshelf (I think sitting up would have been too much exercise for her) staring at her phone, alternating between texting and checking social media. I’m guessing literacy is a closed book to her.
Group 3: The Mongoloids
This woman had three kids with her, guessing their ages ranged between 30 and 48 months. However all 3 still had dummies in their mouths and I’m guessing they won’t be weaned off them any time soon. She also had them on tethers – you know those awful backpack things with a long rope attached so kids won’t run away in crowds? She had these on all her kids and whenever one got a bit far away she would angrily snap some verbal instruction and then physically snap on the cord even harder, bringing the kid backwards towards her to land on their arse and cry throughout the next story.
Group 4: The Brits
Now here was the only other parent present who was of normal human proportions. But given what she was feeding her kids frankly this was a surprise. This Pommie lady, as soon as she sat with her three kids, brought out a multipack bag of Cheetos Cheese & Bacon Balls. She then dispensed the smaller packs within to her 3 kids, the youngest of which could not have been more than 18 months old.
So by the time the librarian came out and started to read, all the kids were either that busy eating absolute shit that they couldn’t hear her over their own chewing, or they were literally reaching the end of their tether and then crying their pudgy little arses off!
What the f*ck was going on!?!
Now don’t get me wrong, I give my kids treats now and then. Today for instance it’s been a hot sunny day so I took them to the park for an hour, then on the way home we all got ice creams. But that kind of sugary snack is a treat, not the norm. I’m proud to say the amount of sugary treats my kids get each week you could count on one hand. If they want a snack at home, fruit is what is always on offer, with the occasional seaweed cracker. Banana’s, strawberries, pears, apples, mandarins, oranges – this is what my kids have for a snack.
And since when did it become OK to eat in a library anyway? Last I checked when you go into a library you put your phone on silent and leave all food and drinks in your bag. You don’t treat it like you are at a AC/DC concert and chow down on crappy junk food while you watch the show!
I hadn’t brought any snacks for my daughter and she was staring at all the other kids food. The British lady with the facial piercings offered us one of her little multipacks and I politely declined. As nice a gesture as it was, I was still mentally indulging in some extreme judgment of her and it would have made me a complete hypocrite to accept, even if it would have made my daughter happy.
So yeah, stories got read but hardly anyone heard them or paid attention. A little craft exercise was done which ran more smoothly, though I noted most parents doing all the work for their kids while the children idly watched, rather than coactively helping their kids do it for themselves. Then Playgroup was finished.
I left there with a bit of a heavy heart. Given our remote location the only other playgroups for little kids are run by the local churches and my skin starts to burn and smoke whenever I step on consecrated ground. So that means I am going to have to go back as I can’t let my own judgmental attitude stop my daughter having this bi-weekly activity.
But by f*ck – if I had my way I’d be telling all these cattle to do their f*cking grazing at home!
Got something to add? Would love to read it in the comments section below!