Sunday, October 3, 2010

Playground Protocol

The local playground has become equally entertaining for me and Otter, although for different reasons. While she scampers about, endlessly taking rounds on the slide, I sit back and people watch - with a mixture of fascination and horror - the goings on around me.

I'm not even going to get into the hordes of kids that descend like locusts on any unattended toy left in the sand, while their parents either pretend not to notice, or really have no idea what's going on because their 5-year-olds are playing without a parent in sight. Or the ragamuffins that actually go INTO SB's stroller to look for any choice toys that haven't been decimated by their half-wild little friends. Or the people who believe their dogs - always mini-somethings - are the perfect accessory to drag on the slide, the swing or the rope bridge, yelping and miserable the whole way.

But from the 11-year-olds having heart to hearts about how one's "relationship" fell apart after it turned out her fellow 5th grade boyfriend was gay, to the sad 6-year-old playing alone while her too tan, too made-up mother (I think) practiced nun-chuck moves about 50 feet away, our playground is a font of endless revelation.

And the fashion sense... First off, I have some serious questions about parents who not only allow but, given their age, actively HELP their toddlers and even babies paint their nails. Call me old-fashioned (and I double dog dare you to tell me and my faux-hawked, multi colored hair I'm a fuddy duddy) but I don't think makeup of any sort belongs on toddlers. And that includes nail polish. Aside from looking, (forgive me all you nail-polishing aficionados whom I'm currently offending) kinda trashy, your kids are still more likely than not sucking on various thumbs and fingers and toes. So why not just give them the bottle of polish to drink? It'll work much faster that way than poisoning them chip by nail polish chip. And the personal adornment doesn't end with color. Today I saw a girl, maximum age 6 is HIGH HEELED silver rhinestoned sandals try to clamber over the monkey bars.

Among her personal effects was a lip gloss.