Sunday, January 21, 2007

Beware of Overprotective Father

The past two weeks have been very, very cold. Something about an Arctic cold front from the north. All I know is that it's been too cold for the girls to go outside.

So this weekend, when the weather finally warmed up a bit, we lost no time in taking the girls out to the local park to stretch their legs.

On Saturday, I took the girls by myself to the park while Terri was working. Our park is great, because it has an enclosed playground especially for infants and toddlers, away from the "big kids" playground. There is a fence enclosing the entire playground, with safety gates to keep toddlers from running off into the main park.

As I approached the play area, I noticed that there was a set of grandparents who had brought a toddler into the playground. The toddler was off climbing the play structure with grandma, while grandpa sat at a bench, reading a book.

Sitting on the ground next to grandpa was a small dog, about two feet long, one foot tall, white and fluffy.

I immediately noticed that the dog was unleashed in the toddler area, and other than grandma, grandpa, and their grandchild, there were no other kids in the play area.

Now, if it were just me, a small, 2' x 1' white fluffy dog would be no reason for concern. But being alone with two 18 months old, my internal "Daddy" alarms went off. Just a small nip of a finger from a strange dog could have huge consequences.

My worst fears were realized when I opened the toddler gate and pushed the girls' stroller into the play area.

The dog got up to see what the commotion was.

Grandpa didn't look up from his book.

The dog walked over to the stroller.

Grandpa didn't look up from his book.

When the dog got about two feet from the stroller, grandpa still hadn't moved, and the girls were starting to whimper, as if to say, "Surely, Dad, you are not going to let this monster get too much closer to us?"

When the dog was close enough to jump or bark at my girls, and grandpa still hadn't moved, I finally took action. I used my foot, and gently nudged the dog away from the stroller and back towards the bench where grandpa was sitting.

Grandpa FINALLY looked up from his book. "Oh, he won't bite," said grandpa.

Trying to be polite, yet firm, I responded, "Yeah, well, my girls don't know that, and proportionally, he's as big as a horse to them!" I smiled, even though I wanted to shout, "Get your dog out of the toddler play area!"

My tone must have had just enough of an edge to it, because grandpa was nice enough to take the dog and tie him up to the gate just outside the play area.

I may not have made friends with grandpa this weekend, but at least I'm not taking the girls into the hospital for rabies shots!


On a final note, there are two great things about taking the girls to the park:

1) They love climbing the play structure, riding the swings, and playing in the sand.

2) They fall asleep about an hour earlier on nights when they get to go to the park!

Playing in the sand (color is funny because I used my cell phone camera).
(click on photo for larger view)

Caroline looking for a Ritz cracker.
(click on photo for larger view)

Watchin' the tennis players.
(click on photo for larger view)


Parent415 said...

I HATE it when people say, "Oh, he won't bite." As if that's all there is to worry about! Good for you for saying something!

Anonymous said...

Hello to a fellow parent of twins! I found your site on a twin blogroll.... your girls are adorable! And the post about throwing food made me laugh!


David Lim said...

Thanks for checking out our site. Come back often!