Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Anna Conda

Sunday was so beautiful, I took the kids to the park for a picnic lunch. Afterwards they played a long time on the playscape. There were 2 other children there with their dad, close to my kids' ages. I said hello to their dad from a distance, then called my parents on my cell phone to finalize Turkey Day plans.

After I'd been chatting for 30 minutes, I saw the other dad hollering at his daughter, then haul her away by the arm. He was shouting to me, "Your daughter is in it, too!"

I told my parents I'd call them back, and said, "What?"

He said, "They found a condom. You may want to wash her hands."

Eeew, yuck. That is totally gross, but now this formerly friendly dad was dragging his kids to the water fountain to rinse their hands then to the truck. His daughter was crying that she didn't want to go home.

Anna came up to me, quietly weeping. She said she wanted to go home. She was crushed that this other dad had yelled at her. My heart instantly went out to her. It seems like this happened to me a lot as a kid - some other dad yelled at me, and I felt ashamed and terrified. I mean, it was scary enough when my dad yelled at me, but I usually knew what he was so mad about. When somebody else's dad yells at you, you feel terror and want to just die.

"Oh honey, you didn't do anything wrong," I told her. "Its just those things are really gross and he didn't want you guys touching it. You didn't know; its not your fault."

Anna said, "I thought it was just a dirty white balloon. What was it, Mommy?"

I said, "It was a condom, and they're pretty gross, so that's why he yelled, so you wouldn't touch it."

Anna said, "What's a Conda?"

Now, we're getting into touchy territory. I want to be honest without giving her more scary information than she needs. She already suspects its something shameful from the other dad's reaction. I need her to know the shameful part has nothing to do with her.

I said, "Its something that grown men put on their penis, and its pretty gross. It should not be left at a park where kids play. Its not your fault that it was there."

Anna asked, "Do men like Colin put it on their penis?"

I said, "No, only grown men."

Thank goodness she did not ask about men like her daddy. I held her hand all the way home, and then you can be sure we both washed up thoroughly!


Snoskred said...

I'm trying to visit as many of the NaBloPoMo blogs as I can and I thought I'd say hi, I liked your blog.. :) eew! it sucks that people would leave those around a kids playground.. maybe in future, a quick sweep of the park kinda like secret service checking things out before the president arrives? ;) You can even wear the dark glasses and a suit and the behind the ear thingys, but on second thought the glasses might make it harder to see. Oh well! ;)

A.Norma said...

I am now going to swear!! BLOODY HELL!! is nowhere safe nowadays in this World..how awful for Anna and you to have that episode happen and in a PLAYGROUND!!! DNA would have come in handy here :o( but who wants to prolong something like this!! so sorry for little Anna. xx

A.Norma said...

I meant to add that the irate Daddy was probably so annoyed and disgusted (like you were) he took it out on you and Anna..pity he didn't stop to think that you and your little one have feelings too.

chickenflicken said...

Oh, barf.

Poor Anna, though! You handled that so well. I hate to admit, I'm more of the, "AGH! Don't touch it!!" kind of mom. And I definitely wouldn't have known how to describe the function of a condom. See? This is why I like to read blogs from other moms...insight!

Emily said...

Nice save! I like how you told her just enough information to answer the question, but not too much to overwhelm her.