Thursday, 13 September 2012

The Crazy Mama in the Park

This is not a story about me. This is a story about a young woman in the park yesterday who showed up, and there is no other way to politely say this, losing her shit. I'm not talking about asking someone to keep an eye on your little one while you sit for a minute to collect yourself, or so you can have a good cry and move on with the day. I'm talking about flailing arms while walking around in circles, borderline hyperventilating during sporadic bursts of tears and throwing herself on the dirt like a three year old, freak out. It was sad. 

Sad because I knew that this woman was mentally unstable. Or high. Or maybe a little of both. She couldn't have been older than her early twenties. Sad because I knew the little girl with her, I assume her daughter, was bullying a lot of the other kids on the playground because of her mother's actions. And it was mostly sad because I couldn't think of anything to do to help. 

What this woman was going through, wasn't necessarily what had my attention. It was how Penelope was reacting to it.

When this woman's little girl decided to step on P to get up the stairs of the slide, I wanted to tell the woman to get it together and watch her kid. But I knew it would fall on deaf ears, so I simply asked the girl to wait for her turn next time. Like any 4 year old girl, she didn't like being told what to do so she skipped away to another part of the playground. While she chose to pick on other children, Penelope sat on those steps for a good ten minutes, just sitting upright and starring wide eyed at the woman, who at this point was pacing back and forth, smoking a cigarette and talking loudly, to no one in particular. I could tell Penelope was picking up on this "crazy" vibe.

It amazed me how quickly Penelope decided to remove herself from being near this energy. Any time this woman got closer, P would crawl away or throw her hands straight up in the air begging to be picked up. People kept telling me how intuitive babies are. This was the first time I had seen it so obvious with my girl. SO amazing. I hope she always pays attention to the energy around her, the gut instincts and trusts in herself the way she did. 

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