I ran into the same Crazy Park Lady who used to blow air horns at dog owners (thus scaring the bejeezus out of children at the adjoining playground). Today, she was harassing two four-year olds for playing on a hill that she apparently felt was off-limits.
I think her excuse was “habitat restoration” (um, no: no such restoration in evidence) but I couldn’t hear much over my internal voice, which was at that moment screaming “STAY AWAY FROM THE FRIKKIN’ KIDS.”
There are ways to approach other people’s children in public. Unless said child is about to fall on parking lot spikes or something, all those ways go through the parents or caregivers. Predictably, her ranting did nothing but make two children cry and piss off their parents.
And me? I managed to just sit off to the side, chuckle at Crazy Park Lady’s latest antic, and — apart from a quick reminder to myself to threaten a restraining order if she ever goes near my children — mostly relax about it.
People are busybodies by nature. The more so when there are kids involved: we carry a primal instinct to guide (or control) children, even those of the rest of the tribe. I could let that bug me — OK, fine, I usually let that bug me — or, like today, I could just acknowledge that the world is full of crazy but harmless people, and Boo and her friends need to learn about them, too.
From whence this laid-back, philosophical approach? Beats me, but I’m sure it won’t last long: a week, tops, before I’m back to my usual (and charmingly winning) indignation.