Creepy Playground Parents!
Creepy Playground Parent #1
The Faux-hippie Dad Who Can Find a Lesson in Anything
Faux-hippie dad and his two-year-old son at the marble maze (a wooden thing with zig-zagging chutes, you put a marble at the top and watch it roll its zig-zaggy way down).
Son, holding out his hand to show Jackson: “I found a marble! It’s blue!”
Faux-hippie Dad: “You should share your marble with the little boy, son. Remember, we all live on this big blue marble together, we have to share it!”
Jackson: (grabs marble and shoves it in his mouth)
Me (stifling urge to snatch up Jackson and run to the car): “Whoops!”
Creepy Playground Parent #2
Spanking the Monkey, Part 2: The Girls Don’t Wanna Have Fun
Emotional Vampire Mom and her Detached Cusp-of-Womanhood Daughter. Daughter is lying on her side on a low deck under the rope-climbing platform; Vampiric Mom can’t quite wedge herself in there but has gotten as close as she can because it’s time for a Big Talk.
Vampire Mom: “. . . it’s the only thing most men want. I’m not saying all men are like that, I’ve met one or two who aren’t. But only one or two. The way you’re lying, your underwear is showing . . . ”
Daughter: (shifts slightly, continues placidly picking at wood chips, says nothing)
Vampire Mom (stretches to tug at the hem of Daughter’s shorts): “That’s a little better. But you still shouldn’t be lying like that, there are boys all around here who could see you. This whole place is bad for that, if you’re up on the bridge thing, anyone could look up and see your vagina.”
Daughter: (scoots away slightly, faces away from Vampire Mom, says nothing)
Vampire Mom (insistent, pleading): “Do you understand what horrible things boys can think and do when they see that? How careful you have to be around them? You can’t just sit any way you want to, you have to be careful you don’t show them anything.”
Daughter: (trying to remember her old locker combination — or something)
Vampire Mom: (Looks at Daughter deeply, starts stroking Daughter’s calf — slowly moves hand up to Daughter’s knee; trails a finger around her knee for a moment and then begins to stroke Daughter’s thigh.)
Daughter: (so placid and emotionless that my skin is starting to crawl)
Me, to Jackson: “Honey, why don’t we run to the car and not come back here for a week or two, okay?”