Parks are not safe!

So, today was Veterans Day. I really wanted to take the kids to a parade, but dh  was not in a parade mood, so we compromised, and went for a nice drive, then took the kids to a park. We have many parks around us, but there is this one park that reminds me of a park we had back home. A bit of a drive, but it’s my favorite.  Or at least has been, up until now. Last year it got a bad rap because there was some guys that were starting to hang out and take pictures of  little girls playing on the monkey bars,swinging, etc., and were posting them on the net.   Evidently, there is no crime in strangers taking our children’s pictures, and placing them on the net. Grrr! Just look at the “How to” e-book that was being sold on Amazon! They finally just removed it. But it should not have been allowed to be sold in the first place. Sort of like pot pipes & bongs. It is illegal to sell the drug, but it is not illegal to sell the stuff that you use with the drugs. Figure that one out! *G* ~

We as parents some times place our kids pictures on the net,  but the thing is US-not some stranger making this decision. I guess I see it as different. If I choose to place a picture of one of my kids on the net, it is ok. If someone takes a picture of my kid and places it on the web without my permission. It is NOT ok. And I have had friends do this to me before, and I kindly tell them not too.

 I know this is a touchy topic, but it does disturb me something awful that this stuff is allowed to be marketed. Falls under Freedom of Speech I suppose. :o/

 If I ever saw a guy taking a picture of one of my children without my permission, I would freak out, and there would be a scene.

So getting back to today…we decided to go to the park. It was very busy because there was no school today. This means being on full alert, and not being able to kick back on the park bench and just enjoy some fresh air.

~Right off the back I began to size everyone up, trying to pair all the adults up with their kids..Who is with who.

Everyone was accounted for except this one guy, early 30’s, who was sitting on one of the park benchs. He appeared to be alone. He was also watching some of the girls swinging, so I ended up walking over to him in hopes to strike up a conversation, to find out if he had any kids there, that maybe I did not see. It was very busy as stated, about 30 people!

~No sooner then later,  a young guy and a boy arrived. The guy looked to be in his early 20’s and the boy had to be at least ten. My first thought was that they were brothers. Maybe.

So, I continued to keep an eye on my  kids, and the guy on the bench.

 As I walked the playground, (DH was in the van) I noticed that the 20-year old guy with the boy started climbing up the ladder to the jungle gym. Obviously, he did not see the sign that said for children only.  And of course there was no park security any where.

Maybe these things do not bother the average mother, but I do not feel comfortable having grown men, or even teens, sliding down kiddy-slides right after one of my little girls have, or worst, climbing  through the none-see-through tunnels, while little kids are in them. NOT COOL!

So, this made me suspious enough to watch him. Then something caught my attention. I heard the little boy call him dad! I looked at him closer and there was just no way this guy was old enough to be this boys father. No wedding ring either, which might have meant  that this boy was his step-son.  Na-Da!

~Something still did not seem right, but before I could put my finger on it, I noticed that he walked over to my 6 year old and was trying to start up a conversation! Ugh!

I bee-lined over there and pulled her away, adding that we DO NOT talk to people that we do not know, and even then..not without mommy! I am really not as forward as I’d like to be. Dh always tells me that if I see a guy talking to one of the kids, be very forward, and bluntly put him on the spot, asking him if he is a child molestor, or just a pervert? Which is it?

Uh, I am simply not there yet!  But, I am getting closer.:o/

 I gathered up the little ones, and took them to another section of the park. We played a little more..and I had that false sense of security that the oldest two could handle their own..WRONG!

Twenty minutes later, we head back to the van, and my older daughter says…I can not believe that guy in the blue shirt mommy. I said, you mean the guy with the boy? She said, yes..

She said that she was playing on the monkey bars and he snuck up behind her and said Hi. She ignored him she said, and  skipped over to another part of the park. He followed her and told her to not run away from him!!!

OMG! I asked her what she told him and she said she told him nothing, just ran away once more.

I then explained to her how to handle that next time. Afterall-I would be nieve to think that there is never going to be a next time…*sigh*

So there ya have it…What a way to spoil a nice day!  I never had to go through this crap back home. :o(



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