"Let's go to the park!" both kids screamed at me in unison.
Does Dad want to go to the park? Hell freaking yeah he does. The park is where the kids play and I sit on the bench reading a book. The park is where we find worms and dare each other to eat them. The park is where we all grab sticks and take turns trying to poke eyes. I love the park and we need the park because we have been stuck in the house all winter.
Today is a good day. It's sunny and over 50. We are going to the park with a mother freaking vengeance.
We are lucky here, we have several parks to pick from. Do I go to the local neighborhood park? Sure, it's an easy drive but the slide sucks. It's not fast enough and Little Hoss likes to take risks.
We could go to the park by the school. It's a nice park, good equipment but most likely a squirrel will be hit by a car since it's a high traffic area. Then I have to go into the whole "it's only sleeping honey. No, we cannot touch it under any circumstances." And I would have to explain that the blood coming out of the mouth is fruit punch that he spilled. I'm not ready to have the death talk yet with the little ones. In fact, I probably never will. We will just ignore it. That's how you parent ladies and gentlemen.
But I did have the perfect park in mind. It's in a state park that is around here, only 15 minutes away and secluded. No one would be there. Unless maybe teenagers who are skipping school. And if they are, I will give them the dad glare and give them a lecture about throwing away your life on women and drugs. I might even take off my belt. And when they leave, and they will, I will give them my XBOX live gamer tag so that I can kick there ass later some more.
There were no teenagers there when we got there. No one was there. The sun was shining. It was perfect. The kids ditched me faster than my ex girlfriend for my roommate. I grabbed the paper, found a bench, and presented the Dad pose. Occasionally I would lift my eyes over the paper to make sure no one was being buried in the sandbox. We were good.
It didn't last long though because apparently a mom's group decided that this park was the place to be as well. Shortly, 6 of them showed up with all their kids in tow. ages 3 to 6 months.
Normally I'm great with this. I love busting in on a mom's group at the park. Sometimes they don't talk to me and I just smile. But sometimes they do when they realize that I am harmless. And when I tell them I'm a SAHD, they usually can't wait to invite me back home for lunch. I never take them up on it. I'm a married man. But it's good to be noticed for the sweet piece of man meat that I am.
I was hoping today though to have the park to myself. I wasn't feeling funny or charming. I was feeling gasy. But you deal with it so I put the paper down to show that I am friendly and receptive to being hit on. Or ignored as a possible pedophile. The ball is in their court.
Very soon after I put the paper down one of the kids comes up to Little Hoss and Bubba Hoss, who are playing in the sandbox. He looks about 3 or 4 but my daughter towers over him. She's a big girl. On the little growth chart she's "above 97%" in height, which is my way of bragging that she could kick your kids ass. Not that I encourage it, but she's big and oddly strong for someone who still only comes up to my overextended waist line.
They are playing fine at first but then little thug life takes a step back. Then he takes another one. Then he picks up a handful of sand and throws it at Little Hoss.
This is his first mistake.
As a parent, I don't rush into situations right away. I want my daughter to figure out how to deal with things on her own at first. I think this is good for her and bolsters her self confidence. She turns to the little boy and says "Don't throw sand. It's mean." She's very nice about it and I'm very proud of her. Sure, she could have pulled a Hulk Hogan off the top rope but she didn't. She asked him nicely to stop.
The kid throws another handful of sand at her. This is his second mistake.
I start heading over now but my daughter says "Please stop throwing sand. I don't want to throw sand." At this point, I am an extremely proud father. Look at my mature little girl not mashing this little pecker's face into the ground. I am a good father. I am the best father. No wonder moms try and pick me up.
The kid apparently is thick in the head though and doesn't listen. And this is when he makes his third and final mistake. He picks up another handful of sand but this time he throws it at Bubba Hoss. This kid is dead meat. I know it. Little Hoss knows it. The kid should know it.
I see Little Hoss take two steps forward and I actually see her make a fist. She's going to pop him. I have no doubt about it. It's one thing pushing Little Hoss. It's quite another thing intentionally hurting a member of her family. When my wife went into contractions she got an IV and was moaning. Little Hoss thought that the nurse was hurting her so she actually starting hitting the nurse in her butt. I had to pull my little tiger off her. She's going to make that look like a walk in the park compared to the ass whipping she is about to hand off to this little boy.
I'm running now, trying to get there before Little Hoss rearranges his juicebox face. Fighting is never the answer. However, some people are just asking for it. It's true when you are 20 and it's true when you are 4. But I can't let this happen. This kid is about to lose his baby teeth a little early. Don't pick on HER little brother. If she is protective over Hossmom, then she is uber protective over her little brother.
The other kids mom is there right before I am and starts tearing into kid thug life. She saw what happened (and probably what was going to happen) and also decided it was time to intervene. I take Little Hoss aside and she tells me that that mean boy threw dirt at Bubba Hoss. I tell her that I know and that he's getting in trouble. I also tell her it's a good thing to watch out for you little brother. I am still the proud father.
The other little kid decides that he doesn't want to listen to his mother so he takes off. She is carrying a 6 month old and takes off after him. There's a part of me that wants to offer to let Little Hoss track his little butt down but I don't. Mainly because she would drag him back by his hair and I really don't want to see that.
So Little Hoss and I watch as mom runs around the swings, through the sandbox again, over to the monkey bars and eventually over the path on the hill. I can hear mom threatening the whole way. They are going home, no more TV, etc etc. I feel bad for her. I can't even imagine Little Hoss doing that do me. We've had our problems, no doubt, but she stops when I say stop. Again, I am a proud father.
I tell Little Hoss it's time to go. She says ok and she's calmed down now. Eventually mom catches her kid and he has gone limp as she drags him on the ground. They get back to the playground area and she talks to him and then let's him go back to playing. I know he's only three, but as the other parent in this situation, I feel a little bit gipped. After all, he did throw sand at my daughter. A time out would be nice. But kids will be kids I suppose and we head back into the car.
Besides, I'm a big believer in Karma. We were at a secluded park today for one very specific reason. To avoid people. Why? Because we have been rocking the pink eye for a good 2 days and I didn't want to give it to anyone else. Thug life had been playing with my children for a good 10 minutes before his little outburst. I'm guessing that was enough time to pass along some contagious justice. I will never tell Little Hoss this of course. But secretly, I'm at peace and still a very proud father.