Thursday, September 1, 2011


Being in the thick of things, I have little to say.

Life right now is a roller coaster. More accurately, our daughter is a roller coaster. This is to be expected, and we are, of course, letting her have her emotions. But it leaves me at the end of every day with few brainwaves for writing things down.

There is one incident I could try to recount, though I think I'd rather forget it. It involves a woman at a park who was letting her unleashed dog run in the kids' play area, though this is clearly against park rules. My daughter is terrified of dogs and won't play as long as this dog was running around.

After half an hour of my child clinging to me on my lap, I politely and apologetically asked the woman to keep her dog in the off-leash area of the park since my daughter was so afraid. I even let her know how nice I'm sure her dog is.

"Well, you know the best way to let your kid get over her fear is to let her be around nice dogs."

(Never mind that this woman is breaking the rules of the park by letting her dog run free. And don't you love unsolicited parenting advice from rule-breaking park goers?)

"Yes, I know this, and we plan on doing this but she is from Ethiopia where dogs are often used as guard dogs and not pets per se, so if you please wouldn't mind keeping your dog in the off-leash area..."

At this point, the woman got, shall we say, huffy. She told me that she was trying to watch her kid and her dog and couldn't really go to the dog-area without her kid.

"Oh, I know, that's hard. I totally understand, but see, my daughter can't play as long as your dog is running around. And honestly, you're breaking the rules of the park by letting your dog go free."

"See? You're not asking me, you've been telling me this whole time."

"My daughter has been here only three weeks. You could try to be a little understanding."

At this point I walked away, shaking in anger and sat down next to my friend who proceeded to take up the cause, raising her voice at the lady, telling her how she has a kid and a dog she takes to the park all the time and how she respects the rules of the park by tying her dog up in the kids' area.

It was nice to have my friend there to yell at the woman.

She kept her dog there unleashed for a few minutes ("out of spite" as my friend said) and then got lost. Sometimes, people act like jerks. That's about as deep as this post gets.

Serenity now.


Anonymous said...

You are such a sincerely nice person, and that woman is so NOT a nice person.
Probably by the 10-minute mark I would have tied her dog up for her. I wonder how THAT would have gone? And the whole splitting hairs about if you were telling her or asking her? What is that about? I feel sorry for her child.

findingmagnolia said...

Ugh, the dog issue. Our daughter was/is also terrified of dogs. Even after ten months home, it's still hard for her to play if there's a dog near; there's just less screeching and climbing me like a tree than there was before. We have had countless interactions with people who did not want to control their dogs, and once even with a family member who asked my daughter if she was a baby, because only babies are afraid of dogs. I felt like smacking her and shoving her dog outside to go play in traffic. (I didn't, of course. This time.) I really don't get why people cannot respect and understand a child's fear and respond appropriately. I'm so glad your friend was there to back you up, and sorry the woman was so disrespectful and unreasonable.

you only live once said...

Shocking, really! You'd think she'd have some little bit vision flickering in her head when you said "usually guard dogs" and "three weeks"!! People really expect so much of kids. I'd like to see the situation reversed and see how adults would respond. Really, it is so much to expect. You'd think she'd have stop dead in her tracks and be overcome with compassion. How sad.

mama becca said...

jerks suck.

Claudia said...

What becca said.

Anonymous said...

If I was there, I would have yelled too. Diplomacy has it's merits obviously, but there comes a point when us reactionary types just got to unleash (yes - pun intended) a good yell! I'm glad you had a "yeller" with ya!

Jim Raleigh