Quick, children! Run from the inappropriate lady!

So I’m at the park with Avery this morning, hoping I can run her into the ground so that she would take the nap of champions and I could write all afternoon.

And then the hordes descended upon the playground and there was much jostling for slides and swings and so forth. Lots of screaming there was, and lots of swarming toward other people’s snacks. More screaming ensued when mothers told their spawn “No, for that is not your snack so step off and go play on the bus thingie.”

Me, I was at the swingset with my little one, when the hordes they did come. And I was pushing and pushing so that the rocking motion would render young Avery comatose for the entire afternoon. Stupidly, I said “You know, if you pump your legs back and forth like a big girl, you won’t even need Mommy to help you out anymore. You could swing all by yourself!”

Lazy, I am.

Well, a little girl chimed in “Yeah, see! Just like me! See I can pump my legs! See! I’m a big girl! I don’t need my Mommy’s help.”

To which I replied: “Yes, you’re quite the little swinger, now aren’t you?”

An innocuous comment? I thought so. And yet if one were to judge from the scowl on that little girl’s mother’s face, perhaps it wasn’t. Because, I shit you not people, said mother grabbed her child off that swing and swept her away to safety so that she didn’t have to be around this strange woman — i.e. ME — in capri pants who only wanted to let this little girl to know that she knew her way around a swingset.

But apparently this mother thought I had other things in mind.

So, fair readers, how does one tell a child that’s not your own, “Wow. You swing well.” in a way that’s friendly, linguistically economical and doesn’t provoke uptight mothers into fits of “Um. Should I call the cops on this pervert?”