May 18, 2009

Citizens of the World

The parks in my town serve as designated meeting places for several groups of people. In the middle of any given weekday, you will find moms with toddler and preschool-aged children, grandparents and grandchildren, and truant teenagers from the alternative high school.

Last week, we had a play date at a park with a large tubular slide. Camber climbed up the ladder and then climbed back down.

"Why didn't you go down the slide?" I asked her.
"I tried," she explained, "But it's clogged."

I stuck my head up the bottom end far enough to see a couple making out.
"GET OUT OF THERE NOW!" I roared.

A few seconds later, a teenage boy wearing skintight jeans and shoes without laces exited the tunnel. A few more seconds later, his equally well-dressed lady friend followed. Without a backward glance at the picnic table full of evil-eyed moms, the couple sauntered off hand in hand.

The next day, we tried a different park, one with no enclosed spaces and no public bathrooms. Within a few minutes, a compact car pulled into the parking lot, blaring uplifting music. Five teenagers piled out and made their way to a picnic table at the far end of the park. All of the moms stopped discussing the merits and pitfalls of the current Friends & Family coupon promotion at Gymboree and watched the group suspiciously. I crouched behind my son's stroller and took this picture just as the sweet aroma of marijuana wafted onto the playground.


"Mmmmm!" said Camber. "Someone is cooking something good." She scanned the park for open barbecue pits. Finding none, she shrugged her shoulders and ran off.

"One of us should say something to them," said one of the moms, scanning the group. "Or call the cops."

Since I broke up the lovebirds the day before, I was off the hook. Before any lots could be cast, the teenagers finished their drugs and walked off into the woods.

The risks of getting mugged and acquiring a deer tick with Lyme Disease outweighed the desire to find out what five teenagers were doing together behind a large tree.

If it doesn't rain, later this afternoon we're headed to a park that is across the street from a grocery store and behind the cemetery. Included on its grounds are the ruins of an old Mennonite schoolhouse, a duck pond/ drainage ditch, and a crumbling gazebo overrun with weeds... in other words, a school-skipping teenager's dream.

Wish me luck.

****
Announcement: Summer Hours

The days are getting longer and the nights shorter and you know what that means: the end of the school year is near. In a few short weeks, when my kids' 9-11am preschool/kindergarten closes up shop for the summer, my extensive amounts of free time will dwindle into nothingness. In preparation for the inevitable, I'm going to have to temporarily cut back the number of my posts each week. I'll be back full-time in the fall, but through the summer, I'm going to be a little (but not annoyingly so) irregular. Sorry! I feel badly about doing this, but I think you'll understand, and hopefully will stay with me!!!

40 comments

Jennifer said...

That is just awful!! I haven't had to face that yet, Thank God. Kids these days are just unreal.

Lindy said...

Good for you for yelling up at those kids - especially for it being curse free. I don't know if I could have done it so tactfully and it most likely would've included a finger wag of some sort, possibly the middle one. :)

Young and Hip Mom/Wife said...

Good luck. That is pretty disgusting, and obviously those teenagers think it is hilarious....ugh.

Becca said...

You ruined the most important moment of that couple's life, I'm sure. He was probably going to propose. (Or at least propose... something...)

And WHAT is with teenage boys and skinny jeans??? WHY?????????

Alicia said...

That is awesome you yelling at those teenagers. That is the same thing going on at some of the parks that we "try" to go to.

Foursons said...

Oh no, how am I going to possibly survive w/out my Meanest Mom fix on a daily basis? Oh wait, I guess my rugrats will be home too. Oh, I might be to busy to post hilarites on my blog too. I might go into blogging withdrawl those 1st couple of weeks!

When I was in HS we had to leave town to skip out of school cause the cops would pick you up and drive you back. Needless to say, parents were not really happy when they would get a call from the cops saying they took your child back to school when they chose to walk out the front doors without permission.

Carrie said...

I understand about cutting down on posting during the kids get out of school. My kids are almost finished for the summer too!

I'll still check in every day or so...I couldn't imagine not stopping by to read your fantastic posts!

Proud Momma said...

I totally know what you mean. We had a 'park-whoore' as I like to call them at our park the other day. You know, the type that dresses like they're WAY too easy, short mini, low cut top, g-string showing? The thing that made it even better was the amount of flirting that she was doing with the "kids" she had brought with her to the park!

Katie said...

Looking forward to your posts. Just found your blog listed on digishoptalk.com! It is so funny.

Karen said...

Sounds like you might have to be the "clean-up" crew for your park. If you don't start rousting them out now, you won't have a decent park to go to.

Anita said...

I just have to laugh!! I have twin 15 year old daughters, and I agree that some teens I see in their high school are less than bright when it comes to choices. You think raising preschoolers is fun........oh just wait, you get to keep being mean for years and years. FWIW, my girls don't make out in public parks, smoke pot, or skip school.........whew!
I understand about cutting back. I'll be going to late night blogging soon, but that's ok, I will get to sleep in a little, unless I actually find a job and them gasp, I might have to blog less!

tracy said...

LOLOL... the tube is clogged. Glad they were only 'making out' and not anything more enthusiastic

tracy

Likes Chocolate said...

Scary! I think the moms in the south must keep a tighter leash on their teens. However, how annoying. Have a fun summer!!!

Anonymous said...

Man, people, lighten up. I think skinny jeans are a MILLION times better than those droopy drawers that show their boxers. And, the last time I checked, "clogging" a slide (ha!) is not a crime...for goodness sake, teenagers have to smooch somewhere. Just shoo them along without hating them. However, in regard to smoking pot in the open, this is in fact illegal and should have been reported to the police.

Amy said...

I feel your pain. We were at our only playground in town (besides McD's) last week, and the slide was covered in four letter words. I'm so glad our group couldn't read yet.
We used to live down the road from an old one-room schoolhouse that was just there for historic reasons...field trips and such. Young couples used to park in the lot next to it to make out...in broad daylight! I'd drive right by thinking, I can SEE YOU! Yes, young couples make out, but whatever happened to being sneaky about it?

Jan Russell said...

Hoodlums! Humph! Lately, I've had to take my chances and send my boys into the abyss known as Kids Kastle. So far I haven't had to haul myself to the top in search of anyone. We haven't encountered any truant teens yet, but the bus-loads of daycare kids are the BEST!

Emma said...

This happens to us, too. For the life of me I can't figure out why teenagers would go to the park and tie up all the swings when there are kids waiting to swing. Idiots.

kristen said...

Don't apologize about being away with your kids! That's what you are a MOM first! You have to HAVE a life to BLOG about it.

Kids these days need a good kick in the pants.

MommyAmy said...

Wow! Good for you for yelling at those kids.

Sarah said...

Marijuana and making out in broad daylight? Brazen! Teenager's these days...(remember when our mom's used to say that?)

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The Mom said...

Seriously, kids these days!

We just had drama at the baseball fields last night. Two used condoms in the dugout, us Moms fought over who was going to have to dispose of them.... we ended up burying them with a stick and gravel. It must have been funny for the other parents to talk about how our team Moms were playing in the dirt before the game!

V and Co. said...

i would of walked up to the teens and said "look, just to give you a heads up, we have a picture, and have called the police. so i advise you to head on out of here, and i would advise you to of done it like 5 minutes ago cause i called them like 10 minutes ago. have a great day."

Musings of the Mrs. said...

I really dislike teenagers. I was actually the teen I now dislike. But they gross me out with their weirdness and antics.

Beth said...

I don't know how big the school is that those teens go to but it would be hysterical for a school official to see the photo and recognize them and get them suspended. Hmm...maybe in school suspension would be better. I wonder if they'd show up??

The Davis Family said...

Summer hours or not I will be following. If this is your life while the kids are at school I HAVE to see what life is like when they are home for the summer.

Golden Girl said...

your post reminded me of one of my favorite lines from the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. when Ferris and friends are in the fancy restaurant the rude host exclaims, "I weep for the future." i think about that line whenever i am at the mall.

Elizabeth said...

This is actually regarding the shoes post- I have a pair of shoes I left at your neighbor's house the last time I was there (I am a good friend of Cait's) and her mom is very upset with me that my feet are much too small because she has tried on my shoes in an effort to keep them and hope I wouldn't miss them!

P.S. I very much enjoy your blog!

Amy said...

I just can't stop laughing!

Not really at what the teenagers are doing, but the situations you fall in to.

Just cracks me up.

Totally understand about cutting back on the blogging. We will be gone for 4 weeks out of the summer, so I'm wondering what I'm going to do...

Fall come quickly so your free time will come back!

Seth and Natalie said...

I love your spy-like picture. I found a couple of suspicious (code for disgusting) items under the dome shaped monkey bars at our park. We have cut back on slide visits drastically.
Neither of my kidlets are in school yet so I never have time for blogging. Even though I don't comment often, I read every chance I get!

Jones-Keeping Up With Mom said...

Hey, found your blog off momlogic.com. Cute header lol! I <3Mean Moms.

Mindee Graver said...

What!?! Your going to spend more time with your family instead of writing New Post's everyday on your blog!! That is an outrage! lol! Soooo just kidding =) Just giving you a hard time. I'm the same way in the summer... not as much time on the internet, its mostly spent outside =)

Enjoy your summer and I still look forward to reading when you do blog! =)

Anonymous said...

i am just the same way with inclosed play areas, ball pits are off limits/ no if ands or buts about it! I shudder to think what are in those places. I have had my own share of "finds" at the parks we go to and had my own yelling match with a rude teen being obnoxious to the little kids on the swings. I check your site everyday and just may go into withdrawal when the posts are cut back, but then I suppose I should be outside with my own kids.... I guess....

Angi Snyder said...

LOL! Just last week we had that same smell wafting over our side yard fence. My 7 year old asked me what it was, and I feigned innocence. He takes a big sniff and says "it smells like someone is burning dried up weeds". Yup, thats exactly what it is I said.

Anonymous said...

I would love it if one of those high school kids' mothers is a Meanest Mom reader and clicks on that picture to see their child skipping school, getting high in the park. That would be great!

Melinda said...

I'm sorry! We just got back from our nearest park with some truants as our top excuse for escape. I was sick of their blaring 'music' (noise) and my kids were getting too curious. But we haven't had to deal with make-outs or drugs there yet. Can't wait for summer! Ha.

Brittony said...

Our parks come with complimentry condoms (used, which is even better) right by the slides. Awesome. And, on special days, we also get little airline liquor bottles. Parks = Good times for all. :)

Twinlinebackers said...

That makes me feel so much better. It never once occurred to me (despite your numerous school posts) that you do not have all 4 kids home all day taking up all your time. No wonder you are such a better poster than me. Enjoy your summer!

Elizabeth said...

I figure you are not tracking how often I come here to read 'em, so while my summer is filled with trips to the pool/pediatrician/pizza place I will likely be able to keep up the pace with your posts :-)
I am SURE your kids will not leave you with any shortage of material to write about, no matter the season.

Anonymous said...

Jana
I too did the teenage breakup bit but at the LIBRARY! My nephew who is 21 assures me its just that "You're old now." Thanks for the vote of confidence on that one!