Tuesday was one of the first nice days we've had around these parts in quite awhile. It seems that lately all it does is rain. The girls and I headed over to the playground in hopes of catching up with some friends for a playdate. When we got there, the only people there were a little girl and her dad. The girl was playing in a sand pile and was trying to get her dad to help her with the digger toy. Dad was too busy yelling into his cell to hear her.
"I don't care!" He yelled, "I said keep him away from her!" It seemed like a pretty heated debate. I got some sand toys from the car and sat down to dig with Violet. The little girl came over and stood next to me, eyeing the buckets and shovels.
"You're welcome to dig with us." I told her. She sat down and grabbed a bucket and her father yelled to her.
"Elizabeth! Come talk on the phone. It's your mother." He made little to no effort to hide the contempt in his voice.
Elizabeth chatted for a few minutes and then handed the phone back to her dad who was standing behind me. She came back to the sand toys and reached for a purple bucket. "Oh, don't use that bucket hon, that one is Violet's." I told her. The girl's mother heard me talking and dad started yelling into the phone again.
"I don't know who she is! There are other people at the playground you know! I AM NOT!!"
I can just imagine what the mother was saying on her end. After that exchange , dad dragged Elizabeth off to the swings. By now I had the gist of the conversation- Dad didn't like mom's new boyfriend and come hell or high water he was going to make sure that his daughter didn't have anything to do with this guy. The really sad part was Elizabeth knew what the conversation was about too. It was painfully obvious. Instead of enjoying his visit with her, he blew the time on an immature arguement. He may be justified in his complaints. I don't know, because I don't know these people . Maybe mom's new beau is a scabby drug bum with no job and no good intentions. What I do know is that Elizabeth asked her dad to push her on the swing at least three times before she gave up, resigned to the fact that he was ignoring her and there wasn't much she could do about it.
And that's pretty sad.