And wangdoodled. And flabbergasted.

Let me ‘splain.

Peanut had a playdate with a friend at the park. They promptly went to their “secret place,” a hedge behind which he and all his other friends hide to pretend they don’t have younger siblings or parents, but do have swords, moats, and dragons.

I kept my eye on them, and they were talking and spying on people.

Fine. So I take Butter down the slide a few times. I overhear something about “and no grownups” and I overhear something about “castles” and I overhear something about “soda.” I’m only concerned his fantasies involve soda, and only because it’s not on my list of approved play time topics.


Kind of.

So Butter and I plant ourselves in the sandbox a few yards from Peanut (okay, 20 yards, but he’s 5 and we can kind of see him). The friend’s mom is hailed by another woman we know, and she heads to the secret place.

And returns, laughing, holding a box. As she gets closer I see it’s a case of Budweiser.

“They found this and were opening the cans and squirting them all over and I tried to take it but Peanut told me it was his and he brought it from home.”

I frown a bit. “I usually give him a 24-pack early in the week, but I doubt he’d have that much left at this point. It’s probably not his.”

She’s amused that I’m playing along. I’m amused that I’m playing along, too. Because by the time she hands off the beer to the rec center staff, eight thoughts have occurred to me.

One, my kid found beer and opened it without my noticing.
Two, he is completely slipping away from me.
Three, it’s all kindergarten’s fault.
Four, it could have been a needle or broken glass or drugs or a gun.
Five, I can’t believe I didn’t check behind that bush before I let them play.
Six, oh my gawd he’s gonna be the kid who gets killed playing with another kid’s gun.
Seven, wow the teenagers around here are stupid.
Eight, and they have really crappy taste in beer.

Clearly, that day we had talks about not touching things you find. And about asking grownups if an unknown something is safe. And about not doing something just because your friends do.
And about what makes a beer worth drinking versus spraying all over the playground.

9 thoughts on “Flummoxed

  1. Well, in spite of the shocker, at least he was spraying it around and not knocking them back.

    As for that even being there, how did the park staff miss it? That is the bigger question.

    I wouldn’t obsess over it too much, Nap. Kids are curious. They have vivid imaginations. And he did not drink it. He was probably using it to add to his dramatic imaginary play.

    And yeah, that is some crappy taste in beer…yuck!

  2. Starting him off early, there Nap!

    There’s gotta be a drinking game for this.
    Drink for every time he says “no grownups!”

  3. well played nap, well played. i like that you thought six, i would have too. your shocked. did you see what my boy said about lines at school? the perception of these fellows is amazing. we’re doing ok over here, definitely slightly alive.

  4. Ok, I know that was a horrifying experience and I would have gone through the shock and incredulousness, too. But OMG, that’s an AWESOME blog post.

    Especially point 8.

  5. Everyone needs the quality beer lecture. *Everyone* Let’s compare notes over school. I swear Evan has a worse attitude than before he went in. He must be going to a school with punks. I obviously have to volunteer more. 2. What’s up with them growing up without us knowing and not in the cute way but I’m-going-to-take-risks-to-make-your-hair-gray way? 3. The only solution I can see to this is open communication and lots of information. Other than that. I’m out of ideas. Good luck.

  6. @ Maria Hahaha. I’m glad he didn’t taste the soda, though if he had, it’d keep him off soda for life.

    @Unicorn I’ll start that game tomorrow morning and be drunk by school time.

    @ Tara I read the post about the lines…creepy. And spot on, I’d say.

    @Ink I know, right? It’s much funnier as a blog post than as a parenting moment. Like about 99% of these moments, right?

    @subWOW lmao. Christian Slater is totally our generation’s Eddie Haskell.

    @faemom I think they must go to school together. Cuz from the stuff that’s coming home I know the rest of the town isn’t actually parenting.

  7. YES. It’s always better to blog about than to be experiencing. I’m glad you knew what I meant because it was a complex response, emotionally, that I was trying to express. (Sorry! But ha ha!)

  8. Yep that would totally be my kid, too!

    I was at a playstructure over the summer and the YMCA’s daycare arrived. One staff member kept all the kids on the side while another went through it to make sure it was safe. There were already kids crawling alllll over it – including mine. But I still felt torn between a) feeling like a country bumpkin for not checking it over before letting my boys play and b) thinking that they were being silly and overprotective, to check out a currently in-use structure – my kids would have totally found and exploited anything of danger waaaay before hand. No need to go looking, would have been in plain sight, as a sword or flinging missile or dance floor.

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