Saturday, October 09, 2004

Hi Badger Readers! Incredibly-honored blog-sitter Mom Moose, here, weighing in on the topic of …

Stranger Danger

That’s what they call the program some schools around here run when kids are at an impressionable age and need to be taught to fear adults who are not their parents. Interesting concept.

Of course, I’d be the first to want my kids to know how to react when someone unknown to them approaches with malicious intent. In fact, my younger son actually passed, with flying colors, an inadvertent mom-administered pop quiz on that very subject. You folks across the pond know how we celebrate Halloween here in the colonies, right? Kids dress up in costumes, and go “trick or treating” by ringing (strangers!) doorbells and begging for candy treats. Well, when our youngest was maybe around age 9, his school had a pre-Halloween festival day where the kids all got to wear their costumes to parade around the school followed by games and such on the playground afterwards. Great excitement! All of the teachers, and many of the parents, dressed up for fun as well, but on that particular day, I had conflicting plans, so had told him, regretfully, that I couldn’t come. At the last minute, however, I decided I didn’t want to miss out after all, but, what to wear?! Some hasty scrounging produced an old black trench coat (Hah! A London Fog, it was! J) , husband’s baseball shoes from his days as a high school athlete (don’t ask why we still have those, let alone how I could instantly lay hands on them), and an abandoned “old geezer guy” full-head mask, left-over from older brother’s costume the year before. Perfect! I’d be dressed as, what, a homeless guy? What the heck, no one would know who I was anyway.

So, totally camouflaged, I wandered onto the playground full of kids, spotted my own, and came up behind him while he was playing with a friend. Crouching somewhat crookedly so as to appear a bit more decrepit, in my deepest, gruffest, most un-mom-like voice I grunted “Hey…kid!”

He turned to look. No recognition.

(Deeper still, and stepping menacingly closer) “Hey Kid…I’m talking to you!”

To his everlasting credit, my beloved son *instantly* backed away, grabbed his friend, and ran straight toward the nearest teacher!

Needless to say, I was completely chagrinned to have alarmed him so, but *SO* proud of his reaction! Once he figured out it was me (immediately ripping the mask off and calling his name reassuringly did the trick) he was wildly impressed with the disguise.

He asked me to put it back on so he could take me over to show me to the Principal (Hmm…what do you guys call the person in charge of a public school who would be the equivalent of a Headmaster?). Relieved that he didn’t seem to be psychologically scarred for life, I was pleased to oblige, and we headed over to see Mr. Fisk.

“Hey, Mr. Fisk. Guess who this is! It’s my Mom!! She came dressed as a child molester!!!”

(to be continued...)

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