It takes more than car seats

When I first became a parent, I knew my role was to keep this precious new bundle safe.  I knew to buckle him into his car seat.  I knew to carefully introduce new foods.  I knew to cover my electrical outlets.  I knew to place a gate at the top of the stairs.  I knew to make him wear his bicycle helmet, and look both ways before crossing the street.  I knew to teach him not to talk to strangers.

I never would have guessed that I might need to keep him safe from his friends’ parents.

Nothing happened with The Snake, but I heard a disturbing tale from a classmate’s mother.  Apparently, her daughter was invited to a playdate with a classmate.  During this playdate, the other child’s mother asked her a number of pointed questions about her parents.  Questions about how old they were, where they worked and what cars they drove.  While certainly these may have simply been a lame poor attempt at conversation, it seemed rather evident that this parent had some ulterior motives.

I wasn’t exactly cool or popular in school (you’re shocked, I know), but I thought that I’d left all that behind in high school.  Perhaps I’m a tad idealistic, but I expected that parents of kindergartners would be focused on helping them navigate sight words and shoving on the playground.  Not using them as a means to potentially denigrate another adult.

I’d like to blame the scenario completely on my locale, but I’m not that naive.  While we have moved to the land of glamour and shallow narcissism, I’m not foolish enough to think that such behavior is exclusive to this environment.  I can easily see it happening across the country.  Frankly, it saddens me.  With all the demands of contemporary society for today’s children, do we really need to heap on our own insecurities?

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4 Responses to It takes more than car seats

  1. magpie says:

    That sucks.

    I worry about the materialism of our town when I think about it, but mostly I just go my merry way. But it’s going to creep into our lives, as her friends have fancy and fancier birthday parties, and get shoes from someplace other than Target. And it’s going to be hard.

  2. Amanda says:

    Why can’t kids just be kids? Why do they have to have materialism pushed upon them? Grrrrrrr

    I remember how it felt in school not being one of the cool girls. I remember not having name brand anything and how the other kids reacted to that. It personally never bothered me that my family didn’t have much, but it hurt like hell how other kids reacted to it. They had to learn it somewhere.

    On another note, being the wife of an active duty military man, when I first started reading this post I automatically started thinking, “What are they probing for? What are they after??” I think I’m a bit paranoid. 😉

  3. Ms Planner says:

    I loved seeing the photos of The Snake and the Fruit Babies. Life in Eden, indeed. Hope you are enjoying it out there.

  4. Aunt J says:

    Just remember that we all view information through the lens of our own insecurities. That, and the fact that this information was derived from a five year old makes me a tad bit suspect. I will remain optimistic and not assume the world is heading in a shallow, narcissist way. I prefer to assume this parent is just clueless. There are how many other parents in that classroom – 25? Just find the ones that mesh with you and let the others fade into the distance. Focus on the positive and more positive will come your way! (I know that is annoying to you – but just to let you know – I have not been to yoga in a long time.)

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