“Let’s go to the park.”
Another one of Mommy Moneybags’s(MM) innocent sounding suggestions that would no doubt end in stress induced drinking. Just like, “we should move in together.” And “let’s have a baby!” MM arrived home from work early enough to enjoy one of the few bright weeknights left before daylight savings begins in the fall. A few months back the city “revitalized” the man-made lake that sits in the middle of downtown. It’s the Los Angeles version of Central Park expect tiny, dirty, and no one outside of Los Angeles knows it exist. I suppose a better comparison would be, its like a plastic kiddie pool that flew off of someone’s pickup truck on the 101. But that was then and this is now. Now the lake has new grass, fresh water, free wi-fi, new trees, new birds, free wi-fi, a boathouse with a diner, AND FREE WiFi!!! Before, it was a nice place to walk my dogs but for the first time it looked like a place to bring my child. When we arrived my immediate instinct was to go back home. The park was dangerously packed. MM insisted we march on. As we made our way to the playground area Donny dodged bikes, strollers, dogs, patchouli oil scented hippies, and of course the local Creepy McCreeperson. I always keep an eye out for the creepers. On our stroll to the playground Donny encountered another child that was nearly his exact age. I saw him coming from a mile away. He was out of control. Like the Looney Tunes Tazmanian Devil with a juice box. My daddy sense told me this kid was trouble. His overmatched grandparents struggled to keep up with him as he approached Donny. **SMACK** This giggling little spawn of satan just walked right up and slapped Donny in the face. I said, “Hey!” because, well, that’s all I could do. Donny didn’t retaliate though a part of me wishes he would have. Maybe he’s already learned to control his temper. It took me 30 years to learn that. I was prepared to yank the kid by the arm and wave my finger in his face but I quickly came to my senses and realized that I couldn’t just do that. Could I? What if someone took it upon themself to do that to Donny? There would probably be an arrest – mine. What are the rules in situations like this? Certainly you can’t allow your child to get smacked upside the head by strangers. Where is the line between, kids being kids, and doing my job as the protector? To his grandparents credit, they immediately apologized and told the boy “no” while trying to politely laugh it off. I guess that’s sufficient. What do I expect, a handshake, a formal letter of apology, from a 1-year-old? I imagine if Donny would have been the one attacking another child I’d pull him to the side and make him understand, that behavior was unacceptable. At the moment I’m writing this blog Donny is flipping a box over and over in the kitchen while trying to fit different corners of it into his mouth. Maybe I need to relax on my expectations on the behavior and understanding of a toddler. After I got past “The slap heard ’round my head” (it took me much longer to get over it than MM and Donny), we continued toward the playground. We walked alongside the lake while ducks and geese called out to Donny to join them. Did I mention the lake has no guard rail.
And its man-made so the edge of the land is literally an edge with a cliff leading to several feet of water. Donny as usual showed no fear as he repeatedly tried to join his feathery friends. Our walk turned into a drag as we endured dirty looks from other people trying to determine if we were kidnappers or just mean parents. I didn’t care how it looked. This lake was closed for two years due to the filth of the water and Donny wanted to dive right in. Not on my watch. Finally we arrived at the swings, slides, and other large plastic kiddie obstacles. I was afraid to enter. Kids were flying around everywhere with no regard for the other children and frail calcium deprived adults around them. Just getting into the area felt like walking across the track at a NASCAR race. I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It was too late to turn back now. I closed my eyes, said a quick prayer, and grabbed MM by the hand. I looked down to Donny to calm his nerves, he was gone…
- Thing I learned today – That I don’t have Ebola. And neither do you. So relax.
- Don’t worry there will be a continuation of this blog very soon. I’ve been told my posts are too long. I’m on the fence about shortening them. Shouldn’t we all try to read more anyway?
- Sports Minute – You know your team is garbage when your friends don’t even tease you anymore.
Thank you very much for stopping by. This is the eighth Daddy Day By Day. If the next blog is a part two to this one, should this be blog number 8.1 or 8a? If you have any questions, rants, feelings, anything positive, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply comment below. Please click on one of the two “follow my blog” links on the right. For you mobile users the links are at the bottom of the page. Talk to you soon…