We had a play date yesterday morning. My five friends, our 14 children, and I were the only people at this park. The kids were all playing well together and I felt an overwhelming sense of bliss.
My kids have hit a magical age where they can play somewhat unattended. I mean, they understand boundaries if I set them and they can engage with other kids on their own. When we go to the park I let them play without me, unless they request my help, and I just watch to make sure they are safe.
So, of the 14 kids playing, I think ten of them were boys. They were rambunctious, loud and adventuresome. Oliver, my 2 year old son, caught several bugs and brought them to me. 😝 Then the other boys would inspect the bug.
At one point, my two boys and one other boy were playing in the grass, poking at the dirt with sticks. I was watching them from about 10 yards away. Oliver makes eye contact with me, bends down, and picks up something.
“Yook mommy!!” He says, “a sqwirrwel!” And in his chubby little hand is the tail of a dead squirrel, it’s dry, flat body hanging as tall as him.
I debated between taking a picture and telling him no. What is wrong with me!??
“No, Oliver, no!” I yelled “drop it,” like I have said to my dogs a million times. As I started running towards him, my ornery, stubborn little guy hugged that squirrel tight to his body like it was his favorite teddy bear.
Now, let’s all barf together.
I started thinking, did the other kids touch it? How can I get that out of his hands without touching it myself? How can I get that without the other kids picking it up? Somehow (I’m still not sure how) he dropped it.
I scooped up my kids, one in each arm, and carried them straight to the park’s bathroom. I scrubbed their hands and arms, then took off Oliver’s shirt.
When I got the kids in the car, I called my husband, who is a doctor in the emergency room. I knew he’d know if my kids needed some shots or simply to be dunked in a bleach bath.
The good news out of this whole, lovely situation is that squirrels do not carry rabies. So, we’re safe there. Also, my kids are adventuresome and fearless, which will serve them well later in life, even if I die of a heart attack trying to keep them safe before then.
Yep, sometimes the silver lining is a little tarnished, but there’s always a silver lining, right?
Hope you all have a fun, and sanitary, weekend!