Early Friday evening, Sean and I went to the Poor Man’s Amusement Park – PetSmart and then Home Depot.
At PetSmart, we make several laps around the store looking at the various animals, riding the moving ladder by the fish tanks, weighing ourselves on the dog scale, trying out the saddles in the tack shop and seeing which dog houses Sean will fit into. When we get kicked out of there, we walk next door to Home Depot to try out all the riding lawn mowers, relax on the patio furniture and then play “snowcone stand” in the tool sheds. I figure that I have spent so much money in those places in the past twenty years that they owe me some free entertainment.
In spite of how that might sound, Antique Daddy and I both have a very strong sense of appropriate public decorum and we don’t allow Sean run amok in public or act like an uncivilized barbarian. We save that for home.
When we got to Home Depot, we ended up in the Lawn and Garden department where they had a cheesy little fake fish pond/fake water fall/fake putting green vignette set up. And of course, this kind of deal is just begging for little boys to climb all over it. And really, I didn’t see the harm, so when Sean asked if he could climb on it, I said okay.
I stood nearby watching him as he pulled the flags out of the putting green holes and put them back in. And then he pulled the flags out and put them back in. About 30 times. When he tired of that he sat on the ledge near the pond for a while and watched the not-fake fish and occasionally poked his fingers in the water. But it wasn’t long before his curiosity got the best of him and he moved to venture around to the back side to see how the fake waterfall works. I called him back and told him that only the Home Depot workers were allowed to go back there. He complied knowing better than to mess with me in public.
Just then, two unsupervised boys about age seven came charging through acting like uncivilized barbarians. They jumped up on the display and wrestled around trying to shove each other into the pond. They climbed on top of the waterfall and behind it. They pulled the flags out of the putting greens and used them to sword fight. Sean sat off to the side and watched all of this wide-eyed with disbelief. I watched it all with disgust. I really wanted to collar them both, sit them down and enlighten them on finer points of proper public behavior. But they weren’t my kids.
Just then, a Home Depot sales clerk yelled at me from across the store in a chastising tone. “Hey lady! Get those two boys off that waterfall! They’re not supposed to be up there!”
I almost yelled back to her that they weren’t MY kids, but since it was a direct order, what could I do? I cleared my throat and readied myself for a smack down. I had my big bad mama speech all ready to go.
But then their oblivious parents showed up and called them away with not a word of correction. It was then that I realized that it wasn’t the kids that needed a smack down — it was the parents.
But there were two of them and they were much bigger than me.
And I didn’t I have my big bad judgmental shopper lady speech ready to go.