Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Less Than Solid

I spent yesterday morning with a three year old. I didn’t know what I would be doing as usually I watch her in the evening and feed her dinner, get her ready for bed, read bedtime stories – all that stuff. I’m better at that. I don’t really know what to do with kids during the day. Even for a few hours, I have no idea what to do with them in a city. I mean, museums, sure, but without a car, that goes from ideal to terrible in three seconds flat. Especially when the three year old doesn’t want to walk anywhere, even the bus stop.

We didn’t go to a museum because after a block she was complaining about her legs hurting. Her dad said the museum was only a thirty minute walk, so I figured they’d walked it with her before. And he didn’t give me a stroller or anything, so I thought she could manage. But between the unnamed chip on my shoulder and her whining, we only made it to the park, and that was after taking a break to get her a drink – her dad did give us money for lunch.

She would usually have gone to school today, but she had diarrhea so she wasn’t allowed to come today, and her dad was working from home so I was called to entertain her.

We were almost to the park when a woman walking her dog didn’t pick up its shit, instead she placed a piece of newspaper over it. This bothered me, but I was preoccupied with a moody three year old. We continued walking.

Another woman who had been speaking to a man nearby shouted, “Hey, you’re gonna pick that up aren’t you?” We were on a major street with high foot traffic, and that was a pretty inconsiderate thing to do, but I understand forgetting the poo-bags, but placing newspaper over it seemed worse than leaving it uncovered. “There’s a kid there, she could step in it!” This was true, too, but I was doing everything I could to avoid this confrontation and get on my way.

The dog’s owner spun around and came within an inch of the older woman to shout, “Get out of my fucking face!” The irony escaped her, I suppose, seeing as the woman had not been anywhere near her face, nor had she been particularly rude.

The owner sort of wiped it up and it became apparent why she hadn’t in the first place. The fecal matter wasn’t exactly solid. But if she knew this, and she had newspaper, why not place the paper under her dog’s ass and pick it up after? It seemed obvious, but I couldn’t say this because being in the company of someone else’s child made saying anything seem irresponsible.

“If you don’t pick it up, I’m going to call the cops!” the woman shouted.

“Do it, I don’t care.” The woman did. “Fuck you, cop caller!” The dog owner continued as she ran away.