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Get a Room. Your Kids Are Watching.

sheeps meadow No, the title of this post is not misleading. Not one bit.

We had a great weekend with the girls. Saturday was a big trip to the Central Park Zoo. The girls were particularly fond of the penguins and the polar bear. They also quite enjoyed feeding the toothy black llama at the petting zoo. Yesterday, we took them to Sheep's Meadow in Central Park for a picnic. Fun, easy-breezy family time. The girls kicked the soccer ball around and generally expended oodles of energy. Husband and I took turns chasing them and lounging on the picnic blanket. As the morning wore on, people settled around us and the meadow got quite busy. There was one family right near us with two kids. My guess is that the tykes were about five and two, respectively. They had two girls too!

So what? Not much newsworthy about a family of four with two daughters in this or any neck of the woods, right? Right. Except. I could not stop staring at this family. And I wish I were able to look away because I was actually quite bothered. Enough buildup. Why was this family so upsetting to view? Because the parents - thirtysomethings, I imagine - were fully making out. Horizontal. Legs wrapped around each other. Sloppy kisses. Hands cupping cheeks. (Both kinds.)

SM 2

(Turns out Husband caught a shot of the couple when snapping our girls. See Exhibit A above. Out of respect and consistency, I made sure that no faces were clear, but I think you get the picture. Or a glimpse at least.)

And? The kids were not oblivious to their parents 11am romp. The older daughter, poor child, yelled, "Ewwww! Gross! Stop doing that!" and then when her lovey-dovey mother and father ignored her pleas, she went over and sat squarely on her mother's hip. Still? The parents were not deterred. The younger girl? It seems she didn't yet have the words to reprimand, so instead she screamed and screamed and screamed some more. And then her big sister chased her. They hit each other and fought and generally made a lot of noise.

And so. I sat there, one eye on my own brood and the other staring (okay, glaring) at this unbelievable scene. I honestly could not believe my eyes and I felt bad for those little girls. If this is what transpires in Central Park sunshine, what perchance happens at home?

Now, please know that I am all for couples feeling and displaying affection. I have never been supremely bothered by PDA as long as it is not excessive or gross. I have been known to give Husband a quick kiss or hug or hold his hand or rub his back in front of my babies. Even more so, I am happy when I see married couples who have young kids and are still patently fond of each other. I know first-hand how exhausting and taxing it can be to be immersed in the world of young parenthood and I applaud parents who keep that spark alive.

Just not in front of their tiny ones.

Here's the other thing. I try my very hardest not to judge other parents. I believe, and deeply, that we are all doing our best, that we are following instinct and intuition and that, generally speaking, there is not one single right parental path in any situation. Except. Except maybe this situation. Those parents? They should have behaved a bit differently. Gotten a room so to speak.

Seriously.

SM 3

{In tangential, but less snarky news, I get a tremendous kick out of seeing my little girls play soccer together.}

_____________________________

  • Have you ever witnessed anything quite like this? How did you react?
  • Are you affectionate with your partner in front of your little ones?
  • Do you agree that parents should censor their "interpersonal" behavior when in front of their young children?
  • Am I missing something here? Is there perhaps something positive about young children witnessing such a thing?
  • If these two didn't have little kids in their immediate radius would this behavior been A-okay?

Sleeping In

Fear of the Known