I don’t know the dynamics of other parks and the cast of characters within it, but at our park we could probably get some good Y0uTube footage if we tried.
Allow me to introduce you to the children of our park. ( To avoid lawsuits and protect privacy I will assign a new name to each of the park children, except my own of course.)
Maddie is our peacemaker. A heart of gold, wants everyone to be friends and is the first to comfort any child that is upset or injured. She can be talked into mischief but rarely ever starts it on her own.
Bridget is the enforcer. Someday this child will possibly run her own mafia, a master of manipulation, smart as a tack and loyal as a knight to her friends. When she and Melissa pair up, every adult knows to keep a sharp eye and if taking the girls to the store, prepare to be somehow talked out of your wallet.
Maureen is the task master and organizer. She knows who is doing what, which rules should apply to which game and generally tries to keep the chaos to a minimum. I have seen her take a parent to task and actually do it well!
Melissa is the drama queen of the group. She is also known to start wars and then stare on innocently at the trouble. I am on to her and am thinking on convents for when she hits puberty.
Polly is the chameleon. She can wrestle down any boy and do it while playing princess. Soft spoken, cute as hell but can easily be found right in the middle of a good prank.
Adam is our youngest boy in the group and he looks like a Care Bear on steroids. You want to just squish him up and put him under the description of adorable, but I have seen this little powerhouse take down all the girls like bowling pins when he is feeling mischievous.
Tommy is the local heart throb and unaware of it. With blond hair and blue eyes, he is the Justin Bieber of grade school. Unable to withstand the pressure, the girls toss him about the park at their whim until he eventually manages to escape.
Jack is Tommy’s older brother and is able to hold his own against the others, however, has been used as a scapegoat when the girls get that evil glint in their eyes.
Mark is the oldest boy of the group and is not around very often, but you know when he is. He looks like Godzilla trying to play with a bunch of munchkins. For the most part he will play his own game in his own world, but on occasion the other children are part of his story, whether they know it or not. Mark is not really checking for agreement, you just are suddenly on fire, on a quest or have been knighted and if you weren’t really interested in playing, well…luckily Adam seems to adore Mark and will follow him about, happy to be a part of the story line.
Now that you have an idea of the children you need to understand that there is nothing they can do or say that shocks or upsets us anymore. As parents, our nerves are virtually deadened at this point and new folks to our park may not understand this. If you decided to visit our park, you would find the parents all clustered under a tree, eating the kids’ snacks, trying to smoke or dodge smoke, occasionally counting heads and hollering at a child.
Other parents come with their children and will try to sit with us for a bit, but they never seem to stay long. The parent might try to politely join our conversation by asking, ” So, that small child that is laying so still in the tennis court, the one that is surrounded by all the others, does he normally do that?” We will of course explain that the children are playing autopsy and its his turn to be the cadaver, but not to worry in about five minutes he will be magically turned into a puppy and will fly away to spy upon the evil wizards. During this explanation, one parent will suddenly whip their head about and holler, “Jack, get that stick out of your brother’s eye right now!” Usually this causes the new parent to jump a bit, then they will notice that Bridget and Melissa have taken over whatever snack her child may have brought, yet they did it in a way that has her child smiling. However, more concerning in that moment to the newcomer is that my son Mark is leaning over her, heavy breathing while muttering an incantation, he is utterly unaware of her existence. As she tries to slowly move away from the chanting giant, Maureen will appear in front of her, to give her an exacting update about the games and how her daughter might be feeling about it all.
Whether she is able to actually able to hear what Maureen is telling her is in question as by now the children are yelling and a fight has broken out.
“Stop breathing near my friend! You had her yesterday all day, and you said that she said today we would be best friends and do cheer leading!”
Why do you all hate me? No one ever plays what i want to play! It’s not fair and no one likes me!” (take a guess whose kid that is. yep, that’s mine of course.)
“No No No! I am the dragon and you are the solider and you don’t get freezing powers!”
And we cannot resist joining in the fray when the body parts start flying:
“Adam, get your sister’s foot out of your mouth right now! God knows what that foot has stepped in today!”
“Hey, we do not lick anybody for any reason!”
“No more monkey piling on anybody! Give me that sword, now its mine!”
“Mrs. Casey, guess what words i just heard Mark say? Mrs. Casey? Melissa and Bridget tied up Tommy to the tree again and they are saying Jack did it but Jack didn’t do it!”
“I did nothing! I didn’t even want to give them rope, they took it from me! The rope is mine and I need it back right now!”
“Maddie needs more water bottles so she can give Tommy some water cause the tree made him thirsty. Polly cannot untie him cause he wants to kick us now.”
By now the new parent has taken her child and fled. Eh, she wouldn’t have lasted five minutes if the kids were having a bad day.