Thursday, May 27, 2010


Papa Bear

The Squeeze and I offered to take the kidlets this past Victoria Day long weekend so their mother could enjoy a weekend off to do chores and have some fun with her friends. Baby Mama dropped the girls off Friday night and we had a fun night, keeping busy with colouring books, stickers, and of course, running around like lunatics playing with the dog. We even managed to squeeze in a visit to the local park to play on the swings.

We kept them up a bit later than their usual bedtime, but it was all part of the plan so we could sleep in for a few extra minutes Saturday morning. Surprisingly, the plan actually worked. After spending the morning playing indoors due to rain, we headed out to a matinee of Shrek (whatever number this last one is). This was our first attempt to take the girls to a movie. While watching videos at home, they have the attention span of fruit flies. They are, after all, five and nearly four years old. Since Baby Mama had passes for the girls, at least I wouldn't be ticked off about wasting the money for something they wouldn't sit through. I'd only be out about $50.00 for the two adult tickets and refreshments. Ya, much better. I couldn't believe how focused they were on the movie! I hardly heard two words from them.

The weather on Sunday couldn't have been better. We slathered a cup or two of SPF 60 sunblock on the kids (and our leather ottoman) and headed out to a park on the lake where the girls had a blast playing on the playground equipment and swings.

There were a couple of kids there who I'll call Punkass1 and Punkass2 and their dog. Punkass1 was about ten years old and Punkass2 was his younger sister who I'm guessing was around eight. PA1 and PA2 were there with their little dog that they placed in a child's swing and swung back and forth, which I'm pretty sure the dog wasn't thrilled about. Then they began twisting the swing until it was tightly wound and released it sending the dog into a dizzying spiral. I approached a couple sitting on a nearby bench to see if they happened to be their parents, but they weren't. Apparently the kids were there unsupervised. While I was expressing my shock to this couple over PA1 & PA2's actions, they removed the dog from the swing. As I approached The Squeeze and the girls at the swing set, PA2 picked up the dog and walked back toward the swings. I had seen enough. "Don't you DARE put that dog on that swing again!", I shouted. PA1 & PA2 just gave me this look of attitude, and I said "If you put that dog on the swing again, I'm calling the SPCA, and you're going to lose that dog. What you're doing is abusive and stupid." They got the point and wandered away. When I looked over to the bench where they were sitting, I saw PA1 on a cell phone. I assumed maybe mom was checking in on him. I guess distant parenting is better than none at all.

A short time later, the girls were climbing on the playground equipment, having a good time running around and going down the slides when this new addition to the mix I'll call Punkass3 came on the scene. He was about 9 or 10 and apparently a friend of PA1 and PA2. He carried a toy shotgun which he proceeded to point at Brynn and chase her making shooting sounds. Brynn came crying to me because this strange older boy was scaring her. I told the kid to knock it off. Then he started doing the same thing to Zoe. He pointed the gun at her and asked "Do you like this?" She was also not impressed and came over to the safety of her dads.

I had had enough. I walked around the playground structure where PA3 was now standing and calmly asked him "Does it make you feel like a big man making a 3 year old girl cry?" He looked a little shocked that I actually confronted him, and simply said "no". I told him "stay the fuck away from my daughters or I'll kick you ass." PA1 heard this and said "you can't do that!" "Pardon me?", I asked. "You can't threaten him", to which I replied, "I can and will do anything in my power to protect my girls." "You can't threaten a kid," PA1 said again. "Watch me," I said as I turned to go back to my kids.

PA3 left the playground in one direction and PA1 and PA2 walked out another way and as they did, The Squeeze heard PA2 say to her brother, "I told you not to call him!" So it appears that PA1 had called in reinforcements after I chastised him and his sister for their antics with their dog.

The Squeeze pointed out something that got me thinking. He said "you know, I have a feeling those kids are abused." As I thought about it, I realized he could be right. The first two kids were mistreating their helpless, frightened dog - something I can't fathom, especially after being blessed with the best, most loving dog ever. And the third kid pointing a gun and asking "do you like this?" It brought images to my mind of that child being hit and his parent asking the same question.

I discussed the incident with a teaching assistant friend of mine and she said she can't believe how mean kids are to one another. She told me that if she had young kids she wouldn't send them to the school she works at. It's a rough, inner-city school where many kids are under-privileged, and it made me stop and count my blessings. And it made me realize that I have to watch over my girls closely. Because I want to protect them and shelter them from what other children might do to them, mirroring what they know.

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