There’s a nice public park not too far away form where I live. I call it Goose Poop Park becuase there’s a nice sized-lake there that’s infested with Canadian geese, which leave their droppings over everything to the point I fear bacterial apocalypse whenever my 17-month-old bends down to pick up a nice-looking rock or a stick, which will usually end up in the neighborhood of his mouth.
Anyway, I was at Goose Poop Park last week, watching Gav totter around on the playground equipment, making sure he didn’t fall. An older boy, probably around eight, came over to where we were and asked if he could play with Gav.
I responded, “well, he really isn’t old enough to play tag or anything, but you can hang out with him if you want to.”
“Okay.” He stood there for a moment and watched Gav climb up the steps to the slide. ” I came over here because Hayley was being mean to me. She told me I shouldn’t chase the ducks and that I would get in trouble and they could bite me.”
I nodded, not wanting to get into an in-depth conversation with a strange kid on a public playground, and also not bothering to point out that the ducks he was referring to were really geese. He fooled around on the swings for a little bit. After a while, another little girl, a few years older (and presumably Hayley) tromped over to talk to the boy, hands on her hips. “Don’t you know you’re not supposed to talk to strangers?”
The boy responded, “I wasn’t talking to strangers. Just old people.”
I was the only person he talked to. I’m 36.