On Tuesdays, I pick my son up early from school to go to his weekly OT sessions. This week, on the ride up there, he proceeded to tell me how there was a stranger on the playground at lunch recess.
He described the person as a man wearing a black coat and a hood who was "mean and yelling at the kids". I asked him if he had seen this person before and he stated that no one knew who this was.
I asked him if they told an adult (there's supposed to be an adult supervisor on each "playscape" but sometimes they need to take a child into the office because of injury, etc. so you never know...) and he said the kids were too busy playing. This is a kindergartner reporting here, so accuracy can sometimes be sketchy. He mentioned something about the man talking to the kids about not wearing clothes, which got me a little concerned.
Now, normally I'm not exactly paranoid and my first gut instinct is that there's always some explanation for things but, since there was one recess left in the day I felt it wise to call the office and report this so they can be on the lookout for strangers. One other thing that made me a little suspicious is that the church a few blocks away is hosting a "tent city" for the homeless.
I know this makes me sound horribly prejudiced, and I frankly don't have a problem with them being nearby, but given my sons' rather insistent report I was wondering if one of the tenants had wandered down to the school. There are a lot of homeless people in Ballard and the occasional one can get somewhat aggressive. Just ask my Mom who was traumatically chased down the street by one of them last year.
Anyway, I dutifully called the school office and started telling the woman who answered the phone about my son's report of a strange man on the playground wearing a black coat with a hood who was yelling at the kids. I mentioned that this was coming from a kindergartner so I couldn't exactly vouch for the validity of this information. I didn't get to the "mean, acting crazy man" part as she cut me off with the response, "well, I think that was me."
Turns out, she was new and out on the playground, telling kids to put their coats on. My son, during this conversation, kept interrupting with "who are you talking to" and then finally "that sounds like the man who was telling the kids to put their coats on." Aha. Coats on. Not clothes off.
Needless to say, I was pretty damn embarrassed to have accused her of being a strange man on the playground. I felt like a crazy person, but she was totally cool about it. Of course, I didn't get far enough into the story to sound too nutty.
What would you have done? What's the most embarrassing thing your kids have gotten you into?