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Monday, February 18, 2008

The PLG Mall Parent....

I tend to forget that everyone doesn't parent the same way I do, or run their days the same way I do. I am so very lucky that I have a group of other stay at home girlfriends who keep me on my toes, like to do things with the kids daily, don't make any judgement on my skills, and make me laugh regularly. I thank my lucky stars I met these girls who I clicked with right away and made parenting easier and even more fun in so many ways. Not everyone is so lucky.
In an attempt to shake things up a little bit this morning, the kids and I headed to our PLG mall play area - one that alledgedly cleans their stuff down every morning (I have witnesses) and that is less crowded than the larger mall nearby. I have only been there a handful of times, but every time I go, I always notice something.
There are a lot of PLG parents there who don't make eye contact. I can tell they are socially awkward and there is a lot of "shifty eye action." I get a lot of "quick lookaways" when I smile or laugh or look to make a connection with someone when my kid does something ridiculous.
Also? They all tend to look pretty sad and bored with their life. Not a lot of jazz goin' on. And many choose to ignore their child unless they do something wrong, in which they shriek across the play area to "COOL IT!"
I found myself sitting there this morning, chasing the kids and laughing with them about things...and feeling like a freakshow. I felt closely watched and like the oddball out. My cell phone woman looked at me all annoyed.
I don't know what my point is. I just know I was having fun and not taking it all very seriously. And there were A LOT of people (dads and moms alike) who were taking themselves and the mall play area VERY seriously.
I wonder if they are the norm or I am the norm. Or what is the norm? Maybe they were perfectly happy and just deep in thought about whether they should vote for Barrack or Hillary. Could have been.
But secretly, I think they just weren't having a great time and maybe they need a friend to help them step out of their box. PLGs...


At 2:19 PM, Blogger meg said...

Maybe you shouldd start going there everyday and befriend them all. Like the woman in the community wearing her scarf. haha

At 3:14 PM, Blogger Megz said...

How right you PLG, for sure. I, too, am familiar with the "look-away".
I do think that it isn't so much a question of "Barack vs. Hillary" as it is "The Buckle vs. Deb"'s more a showdown of the better choice of store teasing them from across the street at Woodland.
Centrepoint is an abyss of bad shopping experiences, and it's killing them.
Too bad they can't shake it off and take one for the team with the wee-ones, though, right?

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Bridget said...

This is an international phenomenon. There's a park right around the corner to us that we go to almost everyday. I've met some cool parents there, sure. But what I think about most is this one mom who is also there everyday, and she won't even say hi. Seriously, this has been going on for 2 years! It's so rude I'm embarrassed for her. Next time I'm gonna go up to her and tell her she's a PLG.

At 1:27 PM, Blogger amanda said...

You're probably right about them needing a friend to get them out of their box. I know quite a few people that just grew up in a different type of household - where when you grow up, you act like a "grown-up". If that makes sense. I don't know, like grown-ups can't have fun or something. Whatever. I try to give most people the benefit of the doubt... just because you don't know what their day has been like. Maybe their dog just died. Or something.

At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Amanda. Just because you think someone is a "PLG Mall Parent" doesn't mean they truly are. Maybe the Dad looking away when you make eye contact just had his wife up and leave him and the kid and he's not comfortable around women. Maybe the Mom who is yelling at her kid to cool it is stressed because she's a single parent or just lost her job or her husband or another family member is sick.

Or, maybe they're a bit like me and don't reach out to other parents because their self-esteem is in the crapper and it's easier to try and "blend" into the surroundings.

We never truly know what someone is going through and to slap a label on them isn't always the "right" thing to do.

Or....OR....the types of parents you mentioned are just asses :)

At 12:29 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Yeah...not to get all butt serious, but perhaps I need to explain my thoughts further.
I get it that people have bad days and who knows what is going on in their life. No judgement there. And I don't care if I become buddies with one of these people. My sadness lies more in the fact that kids pick up on their parents crabby, mad or just overall unhappy demeanor and that bums me out. I feel bad for the kids. I feel like, as a parent, it's your job to "step up to the plate" and make it fun for your kids, regardless of what's going on. Sure, you can't be happy 100% of the time...god knows I am not. But you can at least try and make a little effort for your kid's sake. I guess that was more my point.


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I'm a 39 year old stay-at-home mom. I have a 9 year old daughter and a 7 year old son. I have lived in the big city and in the mountains, but am happy to be back in the Midwest, raising the fam. I enjoy laughing, wine, bad karaoke, US Weekly, running, cemetaries, cheese sticks and short hair-dos. In my previous life, I was class-clown and a wanna-be comedian. In my professional life, I'm a journalism major with 10 years of marketing and PR experience. I dream of being a cast member on Saturday Night Live and working at Disney World as Snow White.

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