I've been holding onto this photo for a few days now, since a trip to a park near my friend Alicia's house last week. Does this guy look scary to you?
Well he TERRIFIES my almost 3 yr. old son. A few weeks ago Auntie Alanda and I took the kids (and the dogs - crazy me!) on a walk to the park for a picnic. As soon as I spread my quilt out on the grass near the play structure, a parks and rec. truck pulling a lawnmower drove up and parked. Immediately I leashed the dogs back up (30 seconds of freedom was NOT enough for them unfortunately) and hoped he'd start at the other end of the grass so we could have a quick picnic. Instead he just sat in the truck. All of a sudden McGee says, "Mommy I want to go home" and then starts repeating, "I want to go home" over and over as his voice escalated to a scream and he burst into tears. He grabbed onto my neck as I hugged him and wouldn't let go. Auntie Alanda and I could NOT figure out what the problem was. Eventually he pointed to the truck with the lawnmower and said it was loud. Since the guy just stayed in his truck and didn't get the lawnmower out, we eventually were able to coax McGee over to the quilt for some lunch.
We had a nice 30-45 minutes I'd say and then the lawnmower man started to unload the lawnmower. Right away McGee notices and rushed me saying, "I want to go home". The next couple of minutes were spent scrambling to gather all of the kids back in the strollers and untie the dogs from the tree so we could head home. All the while my terrified son is screaming "I want to go home". Of course when Lawnmower Man (all great villians have a proper name right?) began mowing the grass he couldn't have started at the FAR end of the park could he? Nooooo, he had to start right there next to the play structure! It was a good 2-3 blocks towards home before McGee finally calmed down. We talked about it and he explained, "The man is scary because he's loud."
Fast forward a week or so... Auntie Alanda and I again have the kids and meet Alicia at a park by her house. It's lunchtime, the weather is beautiful and the kids are all having a wonderful time playing (including Little Em and Baby Jack on a little blanket on the grass). The moms too were having a super time chatting away. All of a sudden I again hear this little voice that just isn't quite right, "Mommy, I want to go home". Sure enough, I look up and see not one, but TWO Lawnmower Men pulling the tractors around and getting ready to start chopping the green grass down. Darn these guys! Really - do they not expect kids to be playing at the park midday in the Spring???
McGee was inconsolable and screaming (yes, truly screaming while gripping onto me so tight I could barely move) so once again I (with help from Alicia) rushed McGee and Little Em to the car and away from those scary villians. On the way to the car we had to walk right past both of them and the screaming stopped for a moment as I explained that they were only trying to help, but it was not enough to convince my boy. Another fun day cut short by the Lawnmower Man!
On the drive home I asked McGee a few questions:
Mom: Were you scared McGee?
McGee: I was.
Mom: Why were you so scared of the lawnmowers?
McGee: I was scared because they are loud.
Mom: Are you scared of daddy's lawnmower?
McGee: No, daddy doesn't have a tractor.
Apparently tractors make lawnmowers MUCH scarier. Now as I'm writing this, I do recall a couple of instances of McGee screaming inside the house a year or more ago when daddy was mowing the lawns outside. Maybe by next year we won't have to fear...THE LAWNMOWER MAN! :)