I had an experience at the park recently where I didn’t share. Yep, you heard me right.
This felt so foreign to me as I am always reminding our 6 year old to take turns and share. I tell him that others need to use the equipment too and to step out of the way if someone needs to get by. Usually we talk about the “park rules” on our way there so they are fresh in his mind.
As he ran off to play with a friend I wheeled Christopher over to the adapted swing. Or as I heard one mom call it “the lazy swing.” Ooookaaay. That right there was enough to get my blood boiling. But that’s a different day. I hoisted him out of his stroller and propped him in the swing. I situated his feeding pump backpack to where I could comfortably push him and nothing would be in the way. He’ll never stay sitting up since he’s still small for the swing so he likes to lounge sideways and enjoy his time being pushed. After about 5 minutes on the swing I overheard a mom and a child talking about wanting the swing. The mom told the child to come and ask me when we would be finished.
Now this is where I could have answered differently, but I didn’t. I replied I don’t know when we’ll be done, since this is the only piece of equipment at the park he can use.
I received a strange look from the mother and they reluctantly walked over to the other open swings. Just so you are aware, every single other swing was open. Even the ones that require 5 arms to get your child out of since their feet get stuck in the leg holes. We were the only ones swinging and they wanted the swing we were on.
Now I am not sure what the look she gave me meant. Was it a look of discomfort? A look of confusion? I don’t know what she was thinking when she heard my honest reply. I wasn’t sharing the swing anytime very soon and I didn’t feel bad about it. There is adaptive equipment at the park for a reason. Now, if another child was there who needed the swing I most definitely would have given it up much sooner.
I cannot tell you how often I have to wait for the adapted swing at the park because an adult is sitting in it. I have waited nearly half of our park time for him to use the swing as an adult sat in it talking on her cell phone. (I didn’t interrupt her to ask for the swing..so that is my fault we waited so long.)
I actually couldn’t believe my response at the park the other day! Normally I’m a people pleaser and want everyone to be happy, but at that moment the only person’s happiness that mattered to me was Christopher’s. He can’t squeal down the slide or run on the wobbly bridge. He can’t climb the rock wall or sneak through the long wavy tube. He was so content in the swing and enjoying the park that I didn’t want it to end for him.
I really wasn’t trying to be a jerk, but I’m not sharing the swing.