I’m just going to come out and say it:
I have absolutely no interest in talking to other people’s kids at the playground.
I don’t mean kids that I know, like my friends’ kids or something. And if a kid or a parent needed help I would be happy to do what I could, and I would never, ever be rude to a child, but I have three little kids of my own. Even when my husband and I take them to the playground together, it’s constant helping and monitoring and making sure the one-year-old doesn’t kill herself. So I just really don’t want to have a conversation with a freakishly friendly five-year-old. I have enough kid stuff on my plate as it is. You can call me cold and grouchy if you want, but let me just tell you about what happened last time I was at the playground.
My husband and the three girls and I were taking a snack break on a bench. I was doling out pretzels and Kix. Captain Chaos kept dropping Kix and then wanting to pick them up off the ground and eat them. I told her to leave them there and a squirrel would be super excited to have a treat. Chaos said, “No! I don’t want a squirrel to eat my Kix! Where is the squirrel? I don’t want to see a squirrel! He can’t eat my food!”
Calm down, crazy-pants.
I have no idea why she was all worked up about a theoretical squirrel, but then I had to tell her that I didn’t see any squirrels and they were probably shy, and blah blah blah. Then, before I could stop her, The Enforcer hopped off the bench and grabbed one of Captain Chaos’s gross playground-dirt-covered Kix and stuffed it in her mouth. I almost said something about germs, but then stopped myself. I just wasn’t in the mood to hear her thoughts on germs right then, and it’s not like it was really going to hurt her.
Anyway, there we were on the bench when a little boy came barreling toward us. He stopped right in front of me and announced,
“My name is Scooter and I’m five years old.”
His name wasn’t really Scooter, but he looked kind of like Scooter from the Muppets:
and he had an equally weird name.
So after his abrupt introduction, I said, “That’s great!” and hoped he would run along and play.
Scooter: I have a living room!
Me: Um, okay. Neat!
Scooter: And I have a field!
Me: (Closes eyes and hopes that will make him disappear. Doesn’t work.)
He’s still directing his weird announcements of inventory at me, and no one else. Maybe because he’s a little bit scared of the twins who are looking at him like this:
Scooter: I have a recliner!
Me: (Smiles and nods) (Grabs The Baby’s cup before it falls in the dirt for the eleventh time) (Where the hell are Scooter’s parents? Oh, there’s his dad, looking kind of surly over there on a bench. Can’t he call Scooter over? Remind him about stranger danger or something?)
Scooter: It’s my own little recliner. It’s in my living room!
Me: (Sighs.) Well, great. That’s super cool. Okay, girls! Time to go play some more!
So we all extricated ourselves from Scooter’s attentions by heading over to play. I was following The Baby around on the climbing structure while she walked up and down the same ramp fifty-two times. Suddenly there was a scuffle at the end of one of the slides and I heard The Enforcer shout, “Hey! You got sand on me!” She sounded more surprised than upset, and I saw Scooter standing next to her, so I figured he may have thrown sand, or accidentally gotten sand on her, and it was no big deal. I’m sure he was just trying to interact with her the way all little boys in the history of the world have tried to interact with little girls. Get their attention any way you can. At least get her to stop making the angry Obama face at you.
That was when Scooter’s dad chose to intervene. He marched up to the little guy and said, really sternly, “Let’s go. Now.”
I guess he has a zero-tolerance policy on sand incidents.
And then I felt really terrible for not being nicer to Scooter because he just wilted. He actually hung his head and trudged dutifully over to his dad. I couldn’t believe that he didn’t protest or whine or anything. He just left, because he got a little sand on my kid, who was totally fine.
So damn it, random kids, don’t talk to me at the playground. Because even if you’re a little bit annoying and I really don’t feel like talking to you, you’re just a kid, and I feel bad for you when your dad is kind of a jerk. And now I worry about little Scooter and his field. And his recliner. In his living room.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post for the link-up hosted by: