So where is the number one place I always think John Quinones and his crew are waiting and lurking? My most dreaded place!! The Park! This is the land of OPK's (Other Peoples Kids) running around with little to no supervision half the time. I cannot tell most times which kid belongs with which adult and they always seem to find me and think I am willing and able to play with all of them .Most of these parents think going to the Park means they can sit and relax and let their children run wild inside a fenced in area. Some parents even sit in their car and watch from there if the kids are a little older. So the other day was no different. It was finally nice out and the sun was shining so I took the kids to the park against my better judgement to let them run around. Of course I am not even there five minutes before the OPK's find me and are latched on. I am helping my 4 year old daughter with the monkey bars when I then have 3 other kids waiting in line for me to also help them. I always look around to see where their parents might be because I always feel weird picking up kids I don't know. Some parents might not want me to be helping their kids. I always try to avoid them and tell them I need to chase after my 4 year old. Or I suggest to them to go ask their parents to help them. Sometimes that will work but most times they keep following me.
This afternoon there was the sweetest, tiniest little girl following me and she wanted to play with my daughter. I kept looking for her mother, father, grandparent or babysitter. Anyone? I could not understand how this little girl could have nobody with her. I keep looking around as she is glued to us and I think this could be it, this could be my shining moment! I might be on 'What would you do?" First I am horrified of what I look like and that I could be on TV looking like this (I know I am crazy) but I just stay focused. I keep talking to the little girl and making sure she is safe as she climbs up on everything following my daughter. Then another little girl approaches and tells me that is her sister, and I think this is getting even better..and I go with it as she tells me her story.."That is my sister and she is 3 years old and I am 5 years old" and then she points to another girl and says "That is our friend and she is 7 and she came with us." As I listen to her I finally have to ask "Who are you here with? Your Mom or Dad?" And the girl answers "My Mom, she is over there in the parking lot with her friend." And I look in the direction she pointed and see a woman standing next to a truck smoking and talking with someone inside the truck.
I have now been at the park for almost a half hour and have not seen this woman once and she has not left the parking lot to check on her kids or even better the other girl she brought with her. I am not in the running for Mother of the Year, but I am shocked this woman does not even care to watch her little girls. I remind myself that this has to be a set up and they are making sure that it is as over the top as possible to see how people would react. So I start to think about what I should do. The girls continue to ask me to help them on the monkey bars and the swings and ask me to chase them and play tag. I cannot believe this mother has not even taken the time to look over her shoulder once to check on her girls. She keeps on smoking and talking. Now it is almost time for me to leave but I cannot leave these girls alone because their mother is not watching them at all. I need to make sure they are safe and I need to get ready for John Quinones and his crew to approach me and tell me how nice it was for me to take care of these girls and make sure they were safe and then introduce me to the "Mother" who really is an actress and all is good! Okay not so much.
I finally have to tell the girls we need to leave and I decide to walk the girls over to their mother and let her know that we were leaving and they had been playing with my daughter. I think this will let the woman know that she now needs to remember she has 3 little girls with her and pay attention. I approach the woman with her girls and they run up to her and tell her how much fun they have had playing with me and my daughter. She looks at me and says "Thanks for watching them, I am so tired and have had the worst week and needed a break." I am standing in shock for a few seconds with a plastered smile on my face as she tells the girls to get in their car next to the truck because it was time to leave. I say goodbye to the girls and as I walk away no camera crews were coming out of the bushes that day. I get my kids in the car still in shock that this mother just brings her kids to the park so she can get a break like it is a drop of day care center and some other parent will watch her kids. Good lord!
I was not on "What Would you Do?" that day, but I am ready for when it does happen!
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