Saturday, May 31, 2008

The park.

Off we went to the park in the wagon, to climb and play on the slides. There are two play structures, one for kids under 2, the other for the older children. Kiernan likes to run between them both. Usually I'd bring the wagon over to be closer to whichever area we were near, but I figured it was still in view so why be paranoid.

There's a guy and his kid who I often bump into and am ignored by on weekend visits to the local parks. He's a bigger guy, with dark hair badly bleached blonde. His son is about 3. Their version of going to the park involves letting the child run free while he ignores the boy. Today Mr. Blonde was chatting on a cellphone, but he had a 10 year old nearby who seemed to be keeping track of the 3 year old.

At one point Mr. Cellphone suddenly hops off the picnic table and races across the park - he's lose track of both his charges. "HEY! GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW. NOW. RIGHT NOW. GET BACK HERE." he yells when he spots the two of them. They trudge back eventually, the bigger boy pulling the smaller in - you guessed it - Kiernan's wagon. Fine, I think, no big deal.

Kiernan decides he wants to go on the "udder slide!" so we head back... it is then Kiernan notices the boys. "Wagon!" he cries. I crouch down and tell him it's okay, they're using the wagon but they'll give it back.

"Okay, time to go!" says Mr. Blonde, who had been standing a dozen feet away, still on his phone. "No, you need to walk. That's not ours..." he says, but he pauses looking across the park (away from me), and, seeing only older children playing on the big structure, he takes the handle from the ten year old and starts to pull it along.

"Oh, that's our wagon." I say and he spins, dropping the handle like it's hot. Which it may soon have been, I guess.

"Oh. Oh. Sorry dude. Sorry."

"That's okay!" I reply, but the guy is back on the cellphone and the ten year old is dragging the wagon away.

Oookay... I think... I see this guy often enough that I can track down the wagon if it "disappears".

Kiernan climbed expertly up the steep stepping wall and slid down the slides, as I kept half an eye on the wagon being trudged around the park.

Of course, Kiernan wanted to slide on his belly at one point, but before he could turn around his foot slipped and he went down before he was ready. The tears flowed freely and he was inconsolable, even when I pointed out the bug on the slide. "Oh!" he exclaimed happily, then dissolved into blubbering.

Time to go home. And the wagon was down the path we needed to go, so we headed over, Kiernan still crying. "Hello!" I said politely to the current occupant and his chauffeur. "Can we please have our wagon back?"

The ten year old stared back with a slackjawed expression, then started to walk away, pulling the wagon.

"Excuse me." I stressed. "We need to take our wagon home."

Slackjaw stopped and cheerfully chirped "C'est une belle voiture verte!"

Um. Right. I couldn't figure out whether the boy was slow or just didn't speak English. Then I remembered him talking earlier in English.

"Could I please have our wagon?" Kiernan wailed anew with a "Waaaaagon!"

The three year old patted the second seat and said "He can sit here!"

"I need to take him home." I said, placing my foot in front of the wagon as another attempt was made to pull it away. "Please let us have our wagon." I looked back the way we'd come, but Mr. Blonde was still on his cellphone, watching us.

"C'est une belle voiture bleu!" came the reply.

I unlatched the door on the side of the wagon and said "Get out. Now."

The three year old scrambled out. The ten year old dropped the handle, which I'm glad of because I don't know how I would have dealt with a stubborn death grip. They both started running away from where Mr. Blonde was chatting away, but were stopped dead by him pausing to yell "HEY. GET BACK HERE NOW. NOW."

Kiernan's tears had cleared by the time he'd been put into the wagon. He gave a very evil chuckle as we walked by the other two boys. "Byeeeeee!" he called.


Lara said...

this really isn't going to help me in my attempts to make you less paranoid about theft ;)

Enchante said...

And this is why I always believe Nuture > Nature

Go find me the thief gene i tells ya!

Good job on getting the wagon back too!

Nuzzy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nuzzy said...

It is disturbing that some parents/adults are that out of touch with reality, especially when they should be watching their children more closely.

Wait, K likes bugs? Can he please teach my 3 year old how to not be afraid of them? PLEASE? :)