Playground drama doesn’t end when you become an adult. As one mom on the AITA subreddit explained, sometimes adults can just add more to it. This woman recently took her 9-year-old daughter to the playground, and the little girl ran straight to the zipline (you know, it’s that thing where you slide from Point A to Point B via a cable suspended off the ground).
As soon as the girl pushed off, a toddler ran in front of her. And so, as most playground horror stories begin, they collided. The boy burst into tears, his mom ran over, and the 9-year-old started “apologizing profusely” for the accident.
Cue the drama. The boy’s mom started yelling at the little girl for “not paying attention” and “seriously injuring” her son. While her daughter started crying, OP was rolling her eyes over the boy who “didn’t have a scratch on him.”
“[This woman] said I’m a lazy mom for not teaching my kid to pay better attention and my daughter’s too big to be playing on the playground as it is,” OP wrote. “Those words triggered something in me and I lost my temper. I called her a b*tch for talking to a child like that over an accident and said that maybe if she’d been watching her toddler more carefully, this wouldn’t have happened.”
After both families left, the 9-year-old cried the whole ride home and then went straight to her room.
“I came in to talk to her about what happened, and she said that what the woman said hurt, but I was worse because I embarrassed her by ‘being a Karen.’ I have to admit I was a bit shocked to hear that, I thought she’d be glad that I defended her. AITA for how I handled this?”
Redditors generally agree that “ESH” or “everyone sucks here.” Because let’s face it, both moms overreacted. The boy’s mom should not have been yelling at this girl, especially since she should have been keeping a much closer eye on her son.
“Why was she letting her 2-year-old run through a zipline path?” one commenter asked. “Sounds like classic anger displacement. Stupid mother, but not a b*tch.”
Yes, this mom should have been ready to intercept and redirect her son. That said, sometimes you just can’t move quickly enough to stop a toddler once they are set in motion.
On the topic of being set in motion, why does this mom not understand the basic fact of physics that this girl could not have stopped in time? Of course, this girl didn’t want the boy to get hurt, but it’s also nearly impossible to stop a zipline once it starts moving. The only thing she could have done was jump down, and even if she was able to make that split-second decision, it’s possible she would have fallen on top of the boy and made it worse.
“I wish my parks had ziplines but all I got were swings,” one jealous commenter said. “But do you know what they have in common? The people walking around them need to pay attention to the people riding them, not the other way around.”
If we give the boy’s mom the benefit of the doubt (even though most agree she is the AH), she was probably startled and projecting her anger in a way that was far from appropriate, but it was her fight instinct kicking in when she had a crying toddler on her hands.
“She probably scolded your daughter because she was panicked since her kid got knocked over, but as the adult, she should’ve kept a calm head.”
As for the girl’s mom, so many agree that she was right to think the other mom was at fault (or at the very least that her daughter isn’t at fault), and she had a right to say so. But yikes — calling this woman a b*tch really didn’t help her cause.
“I mean I get it, I’ve done it before too, but it does make you lose a bit of moral high ground when it happens.”
This 9-year-old was overwhelmed enough by a stranger yelling at her, and she didn’t need to see her mom yelling back. When things escalated, and when she was made to go home, it must have made her feel like she really did do something wrong.
Oh and don’t even get us started on the “too old for the playground” comment. We would be thrilled to have a 9-year-old who would rather ride the zipline than spend their time online. And does this other woman understand how a playground works? Unfortunately, sh*t happens.
“I don’t get parents that take their kids to the park but absolutely refuse to accept any sort of accidents,” one Redditor wrote. “I can’t stand it.”
Kids run around. And don’t pay attention. And trip. And fall. And yes, sometimes crash into each other. And while parents can’t stop everything (this Reddit being Exhibit A), they can supervise. In fact, just being nearby can make a huge difference.
“I follow after [my son] to provide a more visible obstacle for the other children running around (they might not notice him crawling around, but they’ll see me),” one commenter shared.
Once the basics of this post were covered, users turned to the Karen in the room. Many commenters are upset with how “Karen” has become such a wide-ranging insult that ultimately is “just meant to put women in their place and [keep them] from acting out.”
“The OP needs to explain to her child that standing up for yourself (or your child) is not being a Karen,” one person said. “Sometimes we have to shout back for our own protection. Kids, especially girls, are getting this impression that you need to put up with crap, otherwise you are a Karen.”
“The term has become a misogynistic tool for silencing women,” another said. “I know it didn’t begin that way, but that is what it is now. Any woman who dares to stand up for themselves, have an opinion, or speak up, is automatically a Karen. Personally, I like to call a-holes the non-gender-specific name of well, an arsehole.”
Before you go, check out some of Reddit’s most wicked step-parent stories.
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