I wrote a huge, moaning tirade about the camping trip I went on. Massive it is. It was at least 50% whining specifically about my extended family. Scathing stuff in parts. I tried to stress why I felt a certain way about various things to do with parenting and exposing my children to certain behaviors. Very cathartic and one of the best things I've written, I feel. My wife asked me not to post it. Which is fair enough. Her point being that a) that's not very nice, b) this isn't a hidden blog at all, and c) I don't tend to write snarky critiques of my own direct family - even the ones who are clearly arseholes. More importantly we have just endured a two week eriod of a cracking week-long argument followed by a deeply unpleasant vacation. So while I have reasons for doing and saying certain things - I'm going to just let it go and not post it here. I'll probably chuck it up in another place some of you are well aware of. It's less direct-link findable than this is. That way I can enjoy the catharsis and still feel it was worthwhile writing it.
Instead here I'll take the one tiny part from the snarky entry and ask - do you think it's okay behavior to let two year old kids to wander off around a state camp ground unsupervised? I say this because on many of my sanity-saving dog walks over the past week I would stroll past a large family of people. A very friendly lot with a bunch of kids who like to pet my dog. Very cute kids too. Which makes me annoyed at myself for the reverse racism of the fact that I find all children that aren't my own to be oddly deformed - unless they aren't white. Then I think they're adorable. No idea what that means but it can't be right. Two of the kids they have with them are under two years of age. So diapers on and often pacifier in mouth. I'll always stop and say hello. But I'll see them - all alone and waddling about - a good distance from where they are camping. They'll recognize me and the dog and say hello. I'll scan the horizon looking for anyone that might be watching them and never see anyone obvious. I found that to be odd. I'll suffer the same guilt of thinking, "good Lord that little kid is adorable!" whilst simultaneously thinking guiltily of that Dave Chapelle sketch about seeing a baby in the ghetto at three in the morning. But then I saw it often all week long. Every time I'd take a walk a bunch of feral kids clearly a good five or so minutes away from home-camp would show up - holding a toy and sucking on a pacifier. If it was my own street then the kids would be in my front yard and their parents would be on a different road entirely - around the corner some ways and with no idea where their offspring had run off to. They and their parents were comfortable with it. I just found it weird. I like to keep an eye on my kids - especially my son. I certainly don't think I'm overprotective at all - but the people I mentioned the wandering two year old kids to all gave me the, 'I'm sure they'll be fine" response. I had no idea I was alone in automatically assuming that was odd.
Anyhoo - my kids are getting excited about homemade blueberry muffins and morning bike rides. Time to at least shower and crack into another coffee.