Saturday, February 19, 2011

Caryites aren't born...they're self-replicated.

Since it's ridiculously beautiful for February, and since I've escaped retail hell and now have my weekends free, hubby and I took baby boy to Marla Dorrel Park in Cary today to meet Nana and eat a picnic lunch and play.  It's over 70 degrees today and sunny, and I had no intention of wasting it inside.

Every time I've been to this particular park/playground in the past, it's been awesome.  It's massive, with separate playgrounds for kids of different ages, sandlots, three different types of swings (even a tire swing), and, as evidenced by the picture in the upper-left corner, a sweet climb-on dragon built into the side of a hill.  (I wish I had a better picture.  In real life the dragon is huge, and looks like Nessie surfacing from the ground like it was water.)

Unfortunately, the big distinction between my prior visits to Marla Dorrel and my visit today, was that, in the past, I've only ever come on weekdays.  Today was my first time visiting on the weekend.

And, oh, what a difference a day makes.

The park was full of kids.  You would think this would mean it would also be full of parents.  (Or maybe the kids aren't produced through natural reproductive means, but rather through splitting apart, and forming new entities, like earth worms.)  If you think that, you've probably never been to Cary, where entitlement is the character flaw du jour, and the stay-at-home moms treat pet stores like drop-off daycares.  Here are some of the things I saw today.

Kid scaling the outside of the playground equipment.  And I don't mean harmless things, like just going up the slide backwards.  This was an 8-year-old boy 15 feet up, using the outer structure of the playground like monkey bars.  It was like watching "Faces of Death" in slow-mo.  I was having very vivid visions of the near future, where I tearfully explained to a police officer that I couldn't get across the playground fast enough to catch the kid before he fell, and had anyone found the parents to notify them yet?  No?  Had they checked all the nearby day spas?

Kid riding his big wheel...on the playground equipment.  It's cool, he was just trying to keep up with his older brother...who was riding a 10-speed on the playground equipment.  I have no idea how they got up the stairs, or how they planned on getting down the slide.  I just knew that if they knocked my kid down, I would eventually locate their parent (or, more likely, nanny) and backhand them.

Kid standing on top of the dragon's head and shrieking for his dad to come get him.  There was no dad in sight.  I'm not sure there ever was a dad.  Honestly...that kid may still be there.

Don't get me wrong, there were a few adults around.  Of course, they were all awful.  Like...

The moms who bought drive-thru lunches for their family to eat at the park.  And then just left their trash everywhere.  I guess they expected the picnic tables to have busboys?  Of course, I preferred them to...

The adults smoking.  In a playground.  With a hundred kids (including their own, presumably) running around nearby.  On a day when the fire-threat alert level is extremely high.  I like to think they were trying to protest society's pressures for responsible parenting via self-immolation (like how Buddhist monks used to protest South Vietnamese leaders), but were having a hard time working up the courage to actually start the blaze, and were just hoping for fate to intervene.

Funny.  I was feeling a little cranky when I started writing this, but the idea of a spoiled Caryite setting herself on fire with her own nasty cigarette has kind of improved my mood.*

*8PP does not condone self-immolation.  If you feel the need to protest something, picketing is always good.  Or sit-ins, they don't require a lot of effort.  Maybe a letter-writing campaign?  Seriously, anything is better than setting yourself on fire.**

**Unless you're a Caryite, in which case, by all means, knock (or burn) yourself out.

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