Oh, no. I cannot believe some parents out there! I’m not one to judge people’s parenting styles because after all it shouldn’t affect my children’s lives in any way, right? But when your child has poop and urine on his pants and he’s going around playing with other children and you are just sitting up there smiling like everything is all good and gravy in the navy, baby, that’s when I have to start questioning your intelligence!
The other day I took my kids to the park with a friend of mine and her daughter who happens to be my daughter’s newfound best friend. There was another mother–or maybe she was a grandmother?–with a child there. So, boom, the child was running from one end of the playground to the other as if he had endless amounts of energy. He didn’t even stop for breath, he just kept going all the while his mom or grandmother–I’ll just call her his guardian–was literally on his tail trying to keep up with him.
I’ll have you know that this playground isn’t all that big…it’s literally just a swing set and this climbing thingy inside of a not-so-big-circle filled with…I think it’s called Wood chips?
But anyway, the guardian is over there getting a work out while me and my fellow mommy-friend were sitting there chatting it up talking about how different the south is from the north being she moved to North Carolina from Boston but was born in Brazil and I moved down from New York City. We’re northerners still getting the feel of the south. Every once in a while the aspiring track star would come over to us, attempt to play catch with my nine month old who wouldn’t participate for obvious reasons (and yes, I did what I could to protect her fact from the big bouncy red ball–that belonged to my daughter’s friend by the way– but this kid was so confused as to why my little girl wasn’t catching the ball) and then he would be off again.
My four-year old and her best friend came and sat down with us not only with their doll babies but with these huge Batman and Superman action figures. The girls explained to us that the toys belonged to the little boy and I thought nothing of it since neither the boy or his guardian seemed to mind.
He ran over to us again and again and then finally it hit me like a fistful of mud. An icky odor in the air. I figured the garbage truck was nearby but why would I only smell the funk briefly then have it go away?
On one of the boys returns and departures my deaf nose (“deaf language” for strong sense of smell due to loss of one sense–in my case my hearing) zeroed in on the direction of the funk then my deaf eyes (“deaf language” for heightened sense of vision due to loss of one sense. Think “you lose one sense your other senses become stronger”) zeroed in on the ball at the seat of his pants. As he kept coming and going with his guardian huffing and puffing behind him I noticed the ball at the seat of his pants kept moving south then it stopped just below his buttocks. But what was it? And did he sit in mud? Granted earlier in the day it had rained but the sun had since came out and pretty much dried everything up so my first assumption was that he sat in mud…somewhere.
As a deaf woman I use my eyes for pretty much everything; they do the job that my ears can’t do plus the job they were meant to do so essentially I see and hear with my eyes. So, between trying to keep my eyes on my daughters, have a grown up conversation, and trying to figure out the mystery at hand, I admit it took me a little while to connect the dots.
At last I guess the guardian had her fill on exercise and came to sit with us and like magic the little boy stopped running around so much, he stayed close by, as did the odor as did the lines that would soon connect all of the dots in my head.
So let’s look at all of the clues, we have a boy, we now see wetness in the front of his pants, we have this sickening odor, “mud” smears on one thigh of his pants and now on his shirt. The forced polite smile plus stiff body language whenever the boy would come near displayed by my fellow mommy-friend told me something was really wrong with this picture. I couldn’t put my finger on it and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to if I could.
I disengaged myself from my adult conversation. I looked at the guardian. I looked at my mommy-friend I looked at the boy. I looked at my oldest daughter. I looked at my daughter’s friend. I looked at the big red bouncy ball right by my foot. I looked at my youngest daughter.
The guardian was laughing about something she was discussing with my mommy-friend, my mommy-friend was now looking like she was in an internal fight with herself, the boy had more “muddy” splotches all over his shirt and…face? My oldest was putting on her best superhero voice for Batman unaware that her mother was finally putting her Criminal Justice Degree in use to be a detective,her friend played along with her, my youngest seemed to be uneasy about something and that smell just kept getting stronger.
And then I was like…
Now, just last week I binge-watched Containment on Netflix (and absolutely LOVED IT!) so I was a little paranoid about ending up like the people in the show. I wasn’t trying to go out like that and I wasn’t trying to have my kids go out like that. Nah, man, I wasn’t having it. I made eye contact with my mommy-friend and we had a little conversation using only our eyes. What an intense conversation that was.
When the guardian finally got up to leave, the boy put up a fight and went into a screaming match and hit notes that would make a bird jealous.
“Did he really poop on himself?” I asked my mommy-friend
“Yeah, and you know I’m sick and my nose is stopped up but I could still smell it” she replied, bewildered.
We sat there not believing what we had just witnessed.