Wednesday, May 17, 2006
we used to play in the park
In the marina park there is a climb-on structure for kids, built to look like a sailing ship.
The pirate ship is a big draw for kids and there are usually several young'uns swinging from the various ropes, slides, and ladders that adorn the thing. My two are no exception - they love it. So tonight we went out and let them romp in the park for a bit.
The marina park is only a few years old - lots of lovely landscaping, a path to walk on, a middle point with a mast (flags flying) replicas of cannons (the town thrives on its' Privateer history) and an area where a stage is put up every summer for concerts.
C and R love it - R can dig in the sand, and C can climb up all the ladders and ropes and neat ways to get up.
We like it too - there are benches nearby, and there's usually a breeze off the river...
Tonight there was a couple there with three children. Two boys (fourish and threeish) and an infant girl. Dad plopped his bum down on one of the benches and lit up a cigarette, while Four and Three took off, screaming like banshees, for the pirate ship. C was delighted there were more boys to play with. Their Mom and I said hi and how are you, and started playing with the boys. She and I were discussing summer play groups when there was a yell from behind her "D, this baby stinks!"
Off she went to change a diaper. Bear was slightly popeyed and didn't want to look at me - he's well aware that maneuver just wouldn't fly in our family, and I think he thought I was going to say something.
I held my tongue.
I was scooping sand with R under the pirate ship when Three called his Mom. "I gotta make, Mom." Then he did the I'm-not-kidding dance of squirmyness. His Mom was distracted by Four's howling (he'd fallen off the rope ladder) and pointed.
"There. You can go there."
I expected Three to high-tail it (with Dad) across the road to the Chinese restaurant, or the bowling alley, or the bakery, or even the hardware store.....but the next thing I knew, R was staring in fascination at the wet on the sand in front of her. C was hopping up and down. "He peed! He peed, Mommy! In the dirt!" And then to the kid "That's a bad thing to do." Three shrugged. "Mommy lets me."
His mother had told him to piss in the play-sand, under the play structure, with other kids around.
I used to think those Dateline specials about the ball-pits at McDonalds were ridiculous, mainly because I couldn't imagine anyone knowingly making something germy and dirty for a child.
Now? We just re-stocked up on hand-cleaner. And I don't think we'll play at the park anymore.