07 February 2012

Exposing the children to the horrors.


We were walking round the long way at the whale skeletons, when yo, what shall we come upon, but loud chirpy happy screams and remnants of a festive little kid party, just there on the path. The whale skeletons is a righteous place to bring kids. Besides the skeletons, there is a sea lab, which may appeal to some, although we highly recommend the giant field which is free from ticks and far enough from the bluff no one should fall into the sea. Mostly us who walk around with dogs walk there, but wide open fields with scrub brush and bunnies would also be an excellent place to run kids.

I snapped all the dogs on to leashes, due to abandoned plates of snacky little foods, like there had just been mass kid exodus from the birthday meal. Strewn about paper plates with Hello Kitty's face smeared in jam. Watermelon balls in plastic cups. Probably organic. Lots of sticky and deliciousness, as far as the dogs are concerned. As I rounded the bend, the reason for the exodus became clear. A passel of six year olds awaiting their turn at bashing a wise old owl pinata dangling from a tree limb, it's candy heavy torso flapping over the middle of the path. The bashers were cute, and many of them modeled stylish party ensembles with major vintage flair. It was actually a little freaky because, my god. Six year old kids that look like they were styled by Rachel Zoe. I took note for future fashion reference. In a way that wouldn't make me look like a creepy, kidless, kid watcher. In Winter 2012, say Casual Flirty Fun with layers of pink tulle over denim and fleece.

A mommy had hung the owl up in such a way on a spindly old cypress limb, that if someone was bashing, the path was blockaded, so I just needed to quickly walk by between the batters to continue on my way. As pinatas go, it was shrimpy and looked to be made of recycled materials. No glittery red Spiderman, this was an endangered species model all awash in natural hues and brown kraft paper. A little girl with wispy blonde hair done up in barrettes and tiny motocycle boots was smashing the owl's skull as hard as she could. Children with heavy weapons are really cute. But, you know, don't get too close.

A mommy in expensive yoga pants halted my way. The kind that have the flattering waist band and should only be worn by those without thighs. "Excuse me," she said, "but you'll have to go around." She was little, her eyeballs came up to my neck, and she stepped boldly in front of me so I could see how smooth her bangs were as she blocked my passage.

"Um. Could I just step through?" I mumbled. I wasn't really prepared for the party and the blockade and the pinata and sometimes saying something bright and snappy doesn't come right to me. Sometimes when I'm walking, I don't even have words. I like to walk in a fog of mute introversion. I just wanted to keep walking so we could get to our puddle for a game of Stick.

Another mommy stepped in. This one was taller and a bit more menacing. She had the hair of my dreams, all razor cut and tousled in careful yet carefree waves. I took a step forward, and tall mommy with the good hair threw her arm into my chest like a guerilla at a roadside checkpoint. She had the same long mechanical arm that keeps the riff raff out of the gated communites, where you go the wrong way and curved claw spikes attack your tires from below before the security guards come running with the tasers.

"There must be some other way you could go around," she announced, looking right at me with an icy gaze, then nodding her head in the vague direction of the greaseweed.

She didn't move her arm. It was long and her excellent army training or thrice weekly cross fit classes had readied her for this, strong biceps for supporting her arm, as long as she must, across a stranger's bosums.

She had to save the children.

"Um. This is like, the path?" I offer.

I glance backwards for a second. Like, I could turn around and walk back and off the path and into the parking lot and through there and then meet up with the path again at the road, but, like, sharing? Could we all do the sharing? I am pretty lazy. And can become obstinate when provoked. And who had the brilliant idea to hang up Bashy the Owl in the middle of the walking path, anyways? Looking at you, double mommy whammy, keeping me from moving.

"So, could I just go through, right?" My 3 little dogs are standing there, looking cute and quiet and highly mannerly, at my heels. All clipped on to a leash. The hopes of children feeding them candies (peanut free) and cupcakes (gluten free) just ahead has them on ship shape model behavior. I am not trying to walk through with a snarling, 3 headed wolf. Just a lady in sneakers walking with some kinda chihuahuas. I have put in my tooth and am wearing a clean jacket, recently purchased on clearance due to it's neon color from possibly the very same place nice bangs mommy got her yoga pants. I look like a good citizen. I could be One Of Them. In neon with major split ends.

Short mommy shakes her head. "There are some children here who are VERY afraid of dogs."

The kids I see are all apeshit excited to bash the owl and get the candy. Jacked up on organic watermelon balls. None of them cares about the damn dogs. Give a kid a pinata and a bat and the rest of life is irrelevant until that candy is pushed out shredded orifices. I only need to walk like 20 feet down the path. The dogs are not going to touch the children. I am not going to touch the pinata. Nobody needs to touch anybody, mommy with the arm pressed into my chest. Who is holding la fiesta on the dog walking path.

"Um…could I just…maybe no one hits me with the bat?" I start to press through the gate keeper.

She pushes back. I push harder.

Jail break. Ha! Take that, mommy. I am through. I start shuffling through the crowd.

Panic ensues. But not of the kids.

Mommies and a daddy rush to the children, scooping some of them up into their arms.

"Don't worry! Don't be afraid of the dogs!" they call out, "It's OK! It's OK!"

Children are being gathered and lifted, high up above the offending animals crashing the pinata fest. The children seem pretty clueless that they were in grave danger or that they were afraid of the scary dogs. I am walking carefully through, sending out vibes that I'm a friendly auntie and no one is going to get hurt here. We are all cool. The dogs are like, whatever. I dodge the owl and the bat and the kids and the mommies, and we make it to the other side of the party in a jiffy. A couple kids reach down to pet dogs, and the dogs are chill and friendly ambassadors of dogdom. They are headed for the puddle where we play Stick. What's the big whoop?

I turn round to make a smile of thanks for letting me walk, but a the mommies and the daddy are scowling at me. I did the wrong thing and pinata time is ruined by the mean lady with the dogs, goddamn her.

16 comments:

manymuddypaws said...

that's awesome. lol. people are so strange.

Jodi, eh? said...

I woulda takin out my tooth and acted like a zombie, you are a better citizen than me.

Amanda said...

Wow. Those parents were scary. Certainly scarier than any other mammals you might have encountered out there!

Karissa said...

Oh my god.... Another reason not to have kids. You might become one of THOSE people.

DINK in MA said...

I hope all the little children get ticks.

team small dog said...

Me and Team Small Dog love kids. We love parties and pinatas, too. We love most mommies and daddies. Just these particular mommies and daddies, not so much.

Cedarfield said...

I get that treatment fairly regularly since I have a black Dobe. Poor baby just wants everybody to love her but they can only see the BBD (big black dog).

Elf said...

"And can become obstinate when provoked." Really?!

My dog and I once lived next door to a couple with a toddler, and every time we came in sight, they scooped up their toddler and said, "don't be afraid of the dog, it won't hurt you" and the toddler at first just looked confused but eventually it started crying when they did this. I think this is an excellent way to bring up children to be terrified of dogs. Blocking a public path is pretty danged rude and they should've asked the children to step out of the way. You did what I'd most likely have done, too, and then gone home and cried about what idiots there are in the world and why did they have to be such jerks in a place where I had to be stubborn and obstinate and have them hate me?

Anonymous said...

The horror, the HORROR! Glad you, TSD and all the little chilluns are OK. The parents, who cares?

Carol

Mary said...

My hero. Heroine.

vici whisner said...

You lead an exciting life. See ya this weekend.

nosemovie said...

You don't know HOW MUCH I wish you just made all that up. Sigh.

RRR

Anonymous said...

i love your writing. this post was exceptionally wonderful.

Kelly Ely said...

I agree such sad and bad behavior! As a mommie and an agility doggie person. I would have told her if she didn't move I would sick my dogs on her but they would have laughed, I have papillons. I had to retrain my husband from his mothers exact same teachings.

Lowell Zuckerman said...

Good for you! Just like in agility, sometimes you have to hold your ground.

dailywoof said...

Shame on these parents for being rude and selfish and entitled and modeling that behavior for their kids. Shame on them for teaching their children that dogs are scary.

Good for you for sticking up for yourself and your dogs!