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Vent II: The Wrath of Rob

By nrobert. Filed in everyday glory, kids, monkeys!, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!  |  
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Saturday – 02 September 2017
Today started off with sleeping in. Until after 9:00 AM. (Those of you with kids understand what this means. Those without, just nod, smile and move on.)

Team DiVa’s fall session of ballet classes started today; they have advanced to “Elementary” from “Beginner.” They were also excited about their new uniforms. (BONUS!) Their teachers is one of the BW dancers, who recognized Sara immediately, when we dropped the ladies off at class this morning.

After their class was done, Sara and the ladies dropped me off at the comic shop, so that I could judge today’s HeroClix tournament. We had a great turnout and there were some good matches. Sealed events – buy boxes of figures and make a team out of what you get – can be kind of a crap shoot, so I was pleased that there were good matches in each round.

Next, a trip to the nearby pet store. Team DiVa has declared their wish for fish for their birthday. This was a part expeditionary run/part “We want to show Daddy pets in a/the store, since he didn’t see them the other day when we went” trip. We were successful on both counts. WIN!

A little while ago, we went to Home-Away-From-Home Depot to purchase a new dishwasher. Yay, home ownership! The one we have is on its last legs and has probably been one foot in the grave, one foot on a banana peel for the past year or two. Mission accomplished.

Okay, hold up a minute. Wasn’t the title of this post something about “Vent” and “Wrath?” So far, this seems to be… rather… well, mild. And nothing really worth getting upset over.

Which brings us to…

On the way home from Home Depot, there is an alternate route we occasionally take, which cuts through another neighborhood near us. We took that route today. Driving down the street, we saw a little kid – three-ish, MAYBE – on a balance bike. Standing at the studded corner of an intersection. Alone.

Kid.
Corner.
Bike.
Intersection
Alone.

I’m going to give those a moment sink in.

Back?  Okay, buckle up. This is not going to be pretty nor easy to read. Sorry.

We pulled over and I got out to talk with the little boy. He pointed across the intersection – across the busier, non-residential street – to the dog (not on a leash) that had run across it. I asked if it was his dog. He just pointed and said “Dog!” I looked back down the residential street and saw a man and another small kid on a bike, two or three houses away. I yelled down and asked if this was his kid on the bike, he acknowledged that it was and started walking in our direction. About the same time, a gentleman came out of the house on the corner and started walking towards me, mostly just assessing the situation unfolding outside his house, which is totally understandable.

The man and Kid 2 got a little closer. I knelt down and pointed towards them, telling Kid 1 (at the corner, but a little farther from it now), ” There’s your dad,” hoping that he would telepathically pick up on the “Don’t play near the street, go back to your dad” vibe I was projecting.

There was a gentleman in a car, approaching the intersection from the residential street, who looked out his window and said, “Thank you” to me. I just nodded and continued to point the little boy to his father.

At the same time, the dog decided to run across the road.

I missed the initial hit, but turned when I heard it, in time to see the back wheels… you know.

Not going to lie: I recoiled.

I looked at the dog, lying in the street. Then, my initial thought was to keep the kid from looking into the street, as I was beginning to suspect that it was the family pet.

The father and Kid 2 drew nearer and I asked if it was their dog. He asked “Black and white,” and there was no further doubt about it: Family dog.  He looked past me and just repeated, “Oh, no…” He walked out into the street and picked up the dog’s body… as Kid 2 started back to the corner to follow him. I shouted at the kid to “…come back this way.” The father, returning to the corner, started yelling at the kids about how he told them to stay in the driveway and not go down the street.

Issue #1: These kids were three-ish/four-ish. Who the Hell lets a kid that young just wander off – let alone on a bike – to the busy intersection?!

As if that wasn’t enough, he started blaming the kids for the dog not only getting hit, but dying. There was really no way to misinterpret his words on that one, especially when the phrase “…is why the dog is dead” was used.

Issue 2: Are you kidding me?!  Blaming the kid for the dog getting hit?! A kid whose sense of self-preservation is undeveloped. A kid who doesn’t know that his dog is going to follow him, wander around – even across a street – then realize, “Oh, hey! My human is over there! I should go there!” How about you keep track of your kid and make sure that he’s safe. While you’re at it, you might want to keep an eye on your dog, too. Just saying.

Once the father and two boys walked down the sidewalk a little way, the owner of the house on the corner approached me and noted that the kids were often up near this end of the street/intersection and just walked away, shaking his head.

::: DEEP BREATH :::

Sometimes, I feel that I might be a little overprotective of Team DiVa. Years ago, we made sure that they knew just how far down our driveway they are allowed to go. (This rule has changed slightly in the past two years, but when we ask the girls, they know what their limit is.) We have emphasized the importance of staying with or near an adult with approaching a crosswalk. We have set and maintained rules about walking in parking lots, whether busy or not.

After seeing this situation unfold, I think that Sara and I are doing just fine.

I don’t like playing “The Balance Game,” but while I’m sad that the dog (needlessly) lost its life, I’m ecstatic that it wasn’t the little boy on the bike.

tl;dr – I saw a dog get hit by a car this afternoon.

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