Friday, January 05, 2007

From the Bump Department

(Since he posts approximately never, and even if he did he probably wouldn't tell you about these things, so you're stuck with my second-hand accounts of his life.)

Bump is going to the gym. Like, regularly.

Well, maybe only three or four times so far, but that's pretty good in my estimation.

I'm not sure how much of a workout Bump is getting, but Lumpyhead is going to the gym's child care center and being exposed to different things (like germs) and other children (who mostly ignore him) and new experiences (such as abandonment anxiety).

Bump's still ironing out the kinks, like finding the optimal time window to go and juggling the gym with other errands, but at least he's getting a shower.


There's this little girl named Ingris who is often at the playground when Bump and Lumpyhead are there. She's maybe six years old, and completely starved for attention. She loves Lumpyhead. She squeals when she sees him approach and makes unending attempts to play with him; he rejects her to go about his regular playground duties of wandering around and climbing on things. Bump seems to dread Ingris, as he tries to preserve her feelings and explain that Lumpyhead is too little to play with her the way she wants. Ingris responds by persistently and enthusiastically telling Lumpyhead to follow her to the slide.

She's perfectly nice, although perhaps a bit. . . much.

When Bump reports the day's goings-on, the "We went to the playground" part of the day is often followed by a heavy sigh as Bump wearily adds, "Ingris was there."

We think she lives across the street from the playground, and her parents or caretakers or whomever send her out to play for hours on end without supervision. This worries me. It's not that I'm afraid our neighborhood is unsafe, but I don't think any place is safe enough to send your six-year old daughter to a playground by herself. She loves playing with near Lumpyhead, but I imagine the acknowledgement of her existence by a grownup is also something she craves. She talks to Lumpyhead, but through Bump.

Of course Bump is concerned about this little girl's lack of supervision, but is honestly a little hesitant about how much contact he has with her. As he puts it, "What if I were hanging around the playground without Lumpyhead?"

This makes me shiver. Obviously Bump is not a perv, but this little girl is happily interacting with a stranger, and no one seems to notice. Is the Dad title Bump clearly sports enough to make him non-threatening? Is there a gender difference in stranger danger, or is parent status enough to remove suspicion? I know some children are told "if you get lost, find another mommy to help you." Will that ever become "ask a mommy or daddy to help you" as more men stay home with their children? Are we just not there yet, or is the world too scary of a place to encourage a child to talk to a man she doesn't know?

Whatever the case, Bump could sure use a break from Ingris.

1 comment:

Bump said...

Well, Bump *is* kind of a perv.

I haven't seen Ingris at the playground since this post went up, so I think she read this and got offended. (Granted, we've only been there 2-3 times in that span, but still--we would see Ingris literally every time we went to the park before that.)