Playground Exchanges

7th August 2009 5 Comments

A few weeks ago, before all the rushing around, we had a little trip to the playground. It was there that I encountered a new variety of man, whom I have not met before. I shall have to call him Paranoid Dad.

Toddler boy was rushing about as usual, I was galloping around behind him with the buggy. I cant let him have too much freedom, as he is only two. Anyhow, Toddler boy climbed aboard the ship climbing frame. Paranoid Dad’s two kids were all ready aboard. The kids, although older than toddler boy were wary of going down the slide and other such things. Toddler boy did his best to show them. I felt obliged to comment. Soon we entered into a conversation;

Paranoid Dad; “Did you see that man behind the hedge with the camera? The one with the beard and the anorak?” As this is the usual attire for middle-aged men in Verulamium Park, it was quite hard to decide which one he was talking about. So I mentally imagined a cross between the man who lives next door and the man who lives opposite (whom I’m suspicious of).

Me; “No, I was watching this little monster.” I love a bit of gossip.

Paranoid Dad “Well, I’ve just been over and had a word, as he was clearly taking pictures of the playground.”

Me; “Ah! Well I’m told its a common problem these days”. There’s nothing like winding someone up.

Paranoid Dad; ” He said he was talking pictures as he was looking for locations for a film”. Sounded perfectly reasonable to me, as St Albans is quite well known as a film location.

Paranoid Dad; ” I told him where to go in no uncertain terms, he gave me a mouthful of abuse, but I think he has gone. What a cheek! Taking pictures of my children”

Me; “You can never be too careful these days” (Smirk)

And with that exchange finished, I dragged toddler boy away kicking and screaming. As I walked past the hedge I looked over it, all I could see was a white tissue blowing gently towards to lake.

Claire Walsh

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5 Comments

  • Womanatwork 7th August 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I think there was a story similar to this on GMTV a while ago, except it was an old woman taking photos of an empty playground and some council official came along and told her off. I think they call it political correctness gone mad. Now if said photographer had his 'little fella' dangling out of his mac then perhaps that's a different issue.

  • Hot Cross Mum 7th August 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Excellent – I don't even wish to follow that train of thought! At least you didn't encounter 'Totally Disinterested Dad' who often makes an appearance at our playground and seems to think all the other mums should mind his off-spring while he chats on his phone. Grrrrr.

  • Mummy Whisperer 7th August 2009 at 2:42 pm

    I used to go for dog training lessons with an ex-police dog handler to that park (poor guy – expected me plus 1 dog, he got me, the toddler, the dog that would pine on his own and the naughty puppy!).<br>He warned me that he has often seen dodgy people there behind bushes – either watching couples or kids. Obviously as an ex-policeman he moves them along quickly.<br>I know that people think that

  • Linda 7th August 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Oh – this is interesting and sad, a similar thing happened on a holiday I was on a couple of years back. I wrote about kids being naked on the beach the other day and some of the comments also reflected what you say here – it&#39;s bound to get worse too, I reckon:<br><br>http://www.havealovelytime.com/2009/07/should-kids-go-naked-on-the-beach.html

  • Pippa 12th August 2009 at 11:11 am

    Many years ago at an after school netball club that I was running (long story)a scruffy bearded man stood at the edge of the playground watching the young girls and one of my helpers went and moved him on.<br><br>When she came back she had nearly wet herself laughing as she recognised him once she had accused him of being a bit dodgy watching the girls as Kevin Whately who was the Dad of one of

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