Posted by: Ofer Aronskind | July 23, 2009

No Kid Zone

With my kids still up at sleep-away camp, I have begun to notice that I shy away from other people’s kids. A few nights ago at a restaurant as we were being shown to a table I found myself glancing around the place looking for a good seat. What I was really doing and didn’t want to admit (to anyone including myself) was that I was scouting out the place for signs of families with kids. In the end, I pointed to a table that was situated as far away from a family with three young kids as I could find. It was my self-made “No Children Section”.

Yesterday, we went to the beach –Seven Presidents in Long Branch. We walked a good ways just to get away from the hordes of kids. No sooner do we have our umbrellas dug into the sand and the chairs and what nots set up but who plops down next to us?? A family of six. Six!!! That’s four kids!!! What’s worse, two are babies/toddlers. The crying starts immediately and I try to talk myself into remaining calm. The crying will stop eventually I say to myself…right? Wrong. It doesn’t. In fact, the baby’s crying infects the toddler who in turn sets off the two older kids and the four of them go at it until my head feels like it’s going to explode. I start looking back over my shoulder trying to give the parents of these screaming kids the most annoyed face I can conjure up. You’d think these poor parents would be upset themselves but no, they seem fine. Mom is sipping a bottle of water and dad is dipping chips into a jar of salsa and offfering her some. Are they mad? Do they not hear the deafening uproar surrounding them. World War III is breaking out on their beach blanket and they’re enjoying a romantic moment. Ridiculous. My girlfriend tries to calm me down while I’m busy giving these people my fourth annoyed look—trust me, its a scary one. But these parents are oblivious. They do nothing about all the crying and they totally ignore me and my heavy artillery faces. I soon realize I have no choice. I start packing up our belongings, pulling out the umbrellas, gathering up the towels and chairs and move us out of earshot of these annoying kids.

After the umbrellas are dug in again and the chairs laid out and our new camp is hitched, I plant myself on a chair under an umbrella and take a deep sigh of relief then say a secret prayer that no other screaming kids move into our new neighborhood. Next time, in addition to all the other stuff we lug onto the beach I’m bringing a bunch of signs with me and planting them in a wide circle around me. In big bold all capital letters the signs will read: “NO KIDS ZONE!!!”

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