A friend of mine visited us this past Sunday, and since the day was gorgeous, she, the baby and I headed towards the park where we met some new acquaintances.
We sat on a bench near the playground area watching the big kids running around, sliding, digging and getting downright dirty, as all kids do. One little girl, about 4 years old, with short uneven blond hair and evidence of play all over her dirt-stained clothes and face, stood about five feet away from us, watching LO. Being the antisocial person that I am, I just ignored her, but I was with my friend here, probably the nicest and friendliest person I know on this planet.
“Hi there, what’s your name?” she asked the little girl.
Silence. (Hey, at least the girl knows not to talk to strangers, even nice ones.) I noticed that there was a bug in her hair that landed on the bench seat. She notices this and I tell her, “Oh a bug, don’t touch—” but was cut off when she takes her pointer finger and smashes the bug nice and hard.
Next her brother, about a year older than her and just as dirty, comes up to us. He apparently isn’t as shy as his sister and starts chatting it up with us. “Great, now there are two dirty kids next to us,” I think.
Last but not least, their dad saunters by and plops himself right next to me on the bench to chit chat. He was wearing a white V-neck t-shirt tucked into short shorts and was sporting a serious ‘stache under his nose. He was probably dirtier than his kids. At this point, friendly conversation ensues: “How old is he?” “Is he rolling over yet?” Then the dad commences to show us a trick and took one of the baby’s feet, pressed on the ball of it, and voila, his toes curled in. Okay, that’s cool, but your hands are dirty, mister.
His kids see this as an invitation to then lay their dirty hands on the baby. Thankfully they were just touching his feet and legs, but all the while I kept thinking, “You just smashed a bug with that finger.” I didn’t know how to escape but knew I would draw the line if they were going to touch his hands and face.
Our escape came in the form of drool: he dribbled a bunch and I used that as an excuse to stand up and fetch a burp cloth. Then I claim, “I think he’s sleepy, we better head back.” And just like that, we said good bye to our new park friends and headed home.
I know, I know, they were very nice and friendly, and all kids are going to get dirty. Am I prejudiced against Borat-looking men in short shorts and dirty kids who smash bugs and touch my baby? Maybe.
I’m going to be a terrible play-date mom, I just know it.