I’m so freaking judgmental. Wanna hear?

A dad, sitting at the playground picnic table reading a newspaper. Behind him his 9-year old daughter bikes down the pathway trick-style, holding her legs out to the side and shouting “Dad! Dad!”

He doesn’t look up.

In Marin county at a kids’ museum, I overhear these names: Hennessy, Maccrae, Sietta, Aspen, Nixon, Rodden, Montana. I’ve known and loved kids with unusual names (including Boo), but I still snort at the soy-no-foam-cappuccino-ness of these evidently well-to-do parents. The phrase that sticks in my head: “competitive birthing.”

A pack of 3-ish-year olds (including Boo) spontaneously invent a game that appears to be Tag-like, although who’s It is nebulous. One onlooking mom feels it necessary to shout directions: “No, go under the slide! Now, you, cut him off! Stop, go back!” She continues until the game quickly dies.