#49 Play Park

by Paul Beckman

Sit quietly next to me. Good boy—let’s look around. Stay. There’s the lady from the coffee shop entering the fenced in playground with her unruly boy. Ignore him, I tell Seamus and muss his hair but it does no good. He hops off the bench and runs over to be with the bigger Phillip who should have been tethered.

They wrestle around on the ground until Seamus starts whimpering and I go pick him up. I leash Seamus’ harness.

Seamus lying quietly with his head in my lap when the gate opens. In come the Anderson twins, Andy 1 and 2, scattering while their mother sits on the bench across from me. She sits reading, ignoring her Andys, knowing they’re safe.

Seamus sits up and is happy to see Andy 1 and scampers off the bench straining at his leash. Mrs. Anderson tells me her Andys love Seamus and they will all play nicely. She rolls a ball to Andy 2 who brings it to Seamus.

I release Seamus and he takes the ball and runs away with both Andys following him and then Phillip the unruly dives into the mix. I walk over and separate them picking Seamus up and carry him squirming back to the bench and hook the leash back onto his harness and set him down on the ground.

We walk out of the toddlers playground and once again I vow not to return until those other kids are tethered and more disciplined.

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