Monday, February 9, 2009

Not Exactly a Walk in the Park

I'm so geeky the only claims to law breaking I can make are lame. For instance, one time, when the owners were out of town, my best friend from high school, Lauren, and I broke into their house. The house was supposed to be haunted, so we finagled around the property until we found a door we could jimmy open. With a bare bulb hanging from the ceiling and stakes of liquor boxes half draped with sheets, the room had an eerie glow to it. As we talked in whispers, we spooked ourselves into leaving and running through the woods back to her house.

As far as breaking other laws go, I once stole an item from Target. It wasn't on purpose, and it wasn't even something I wanted (a tube of pearlescent taupe lip gloss) but I didn't take it back. My friends and I skipped school, but I'm not sure truancy is a real law, either.

So, you can see, my law breaking is pretty lame-o.

Today, thought, I broke the law, perhaps two laws. I go for a walk/jog/run in my neighborhood quite often. One time, a while back, I happened to walk/jog/run into a neighboring 'hood and stumbled upon a small park. I jogged past it and thought how convenient it was. In the 5 years we've lived here, I had never noticed it. Then, I noticed a sign: "Residents of Booger Row Neighborhood and their invited guests only allowed in the park."

Oh, well, never-break-the-law me sighed. I guess I wouldn't be taking Spark there after all. But, on several subsequent walk/jog/runs by the forbidden playscape, I couldn't help but notice that no one was ever playing there. And, I went by at prime kiddie play times on prime weather days.

Today was an early-release day at Spark's school, which meant I would have him at my usual time for the walk/jog/run. After we got home, Spark was begging to go to a park. And, I caved. I did it. I told him about a new park I had found, told him how it had cool tires to play on, and after a short walk (not quite a mile), he could play a while before we headed back home. He seemed very excited about our adventure.

We pack up the stroller with Flower and some snacks to eat at the park (a tangelo, cheesey puffs, and a bottle of water), and we head off. About 30 minutes later, we see the park just ahead in the distance. Spark is so excited, "I see it! I see it! It's blue, Momma, your favorite color." I tell him he can run on ahead of us, and he takes off.

Evidence of our law-breaking afternoon.

I arrive, get Flower's stroller situated (she's napping) and sit myself down on a park bench. I notice Spark is running around in circles. He's excited about the park, but he's also uncomfortable looking. Sure enough, he comes over to me, "I have to go potty. I got to pee-pee."
A quick inspection shows that while the playscape is not gate-protected, the restrooms are. And, being that we are vandals, using this off-limits playground equipment, there's no way I have a membership key. I tell Spark that he's going to have to urinate on the ground. "Pee over there." We tried this a couple weeks ago, when we had walked to a local middle school track in our neighborhood. He wouldn't do it. He totally freezes up.

He looks at me terrified, "I can't go potty on the grass, Momma. I have to poopy, too."

Oh, this makes things interesting. I'm thinking, even if Spark and I run all the way home, it will likely take us 15 minutes, so I tell him, "Spark, it's a long way to get home. You're going to have to poop on the ground."

He's running in circles, completely freaking out. "I'm about to go poopy in my pants," he's yelling over and over again. "I want to go home and poopy."

I know we can't make it. There's no way. So, I just tell him, matter-of-factly, "Spark, you have to decide: either poop on the ground or poop in your pants."

He runs away from me. There's a hill with a ditch. He runs down into the ditch, screams at me, "Don't watch me, Momma." And he takes care of business.

I do have baby wipes handy, so he can clean up things. As we walk back to the playscape, he looks up at me, dejected, "Momma, birds go poopy on the grass, don't they?" He seems forlorn that he might have a similar status as a bird because of what he's done. Birds, are apparently, not the king of the beasts.

I look at him. "Spark, yes they do. But you know what else goes poopy on the grass?"

He looks at me. "What, Mommy?"

"Puppies go poopy on the grass," I tell him. He's quite fond of puppies, sleeps with a puppy every night, even pretends to be one fairly often. As he beams up at me, I'm hoping that I don't have to call a cleanup crew in the grocery store the next time he wants to "be a puppy."

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