Blogging from A to Z – W – WTF

I’ve tossed around several “W” ideas for my post today, but due to some changes earlier in the alphabet, a few of them would have been redundant.  And there were other I just didn’t feel like writing about.

So, instead, I’ll recount a little something that happened today.

If you follow me on twitter, you might have seen this earlier:

That was definitely the highlight of the afternoon, but it wasn’t all perfect.

G and I were invited to attend a play date and lunch thing from 11:30 to 1:30 today.  It’s part of the Basel Children’s Trust, which is an organization that I found online a while ago.  I need to get around to joining, but I find other parents intimidating, so I haven’t yet.  However, one of Andy’s coworkers knows someone who has a daughter just a bit younger than G and is currently home on maternity leave, so he gave her my email address and she invited me to attend with her.

[To make things easier on myself, I will refer to the mom as C, the older daughter as L, and the baby as A.]

First, there must have been some mix-up in the scheduling, because one part of the site said 11:30 AM, but another part said 9 AM.  Kind of a big difference.  Regardless, when I got there just after 11:30, there was no one else there.  And I’m never the first one anywhere, so I knew something had to be wrong.

Then my phone wouldn’t text C’s phone, and I wasn’t going to call her because I pretty much avoid personal phone calls if at all possible.  They’re just so awkward!  Especially if you’ve never talked to the other person before.  So I emailed her, but she didn’t end up getting it until later in the day.

G and I sat down to eat our lunch al fresco because I didn’t want to make her wait until we got back home to eat.  She was already complaining of being hungry!

Then C arrived!  She had two daughters in tow and baby A was none too pleased; apparently she was missing part of her nap.

C had noticed the scheduling discrepancy on the website over the weekend, but figured 9 AM was too early for the play date to start, although she hadn’t ever been to that particular play date before.  She then arrived at the location around 11, but no one else was there.  She ran an errand and then headed back, which is when she found G and me.

After the girls were done eating, C led the way to a small playground she had spotted.  It was geared towards kids a little older than G and L, but they still had fun.  They played on the see-saws for a while and then started gathering sticks and wood chips to “build a rope,” in G’s words.  Whatever, kid!  They were having fun, so we just let them at it.

Then L picked something up and asked her mom what it was.  C made a joke about it being a needle or something, but it actually was!  It was a total WTF moment!

The park we lived near at our old apartment was rumored to be a drug-friendly area, and if you were only referring to pot, I would have definitely agreed with that statement.  I never saw an evidence of harder drug use.

That park is also near the train station, which has more than its fair share of panhandlers and people who certainly appeared to be under the influence of at least alcohol.

In the past, Basel (like many other cities) had a pretty serious drug problem, but chose to hit it head-on in the early 1990’s.  As a result, open use of hard drugs is no longer common.  [I had read about this a few other places before, when researching for our move, but tonight I’ll link you here for more information.]

In short, I had seen a lot worse evidence of drug activity in my old neighborhood on Bigelow in Peoria than I ever have in Basel.  Finding that needle was shocking, as were the immediate concerns of a young child finding it.

C was understandably shaken-up, but didn’t want to make a big deal of it in front of the girls.  We packed up and headed for a local café for a coffee.  I drank an entire cappuccino for the first time in my life because I didn’t want to seem like a child who only drinks hot chocolate, ha!

G also insisted that she wanted a coffee, which clearly wasn’t going to happen, but C said that she orders “babyccinos” for L, which are basically just steamed milk and foam with chocolate sprinkled on top.

G was a fan!

I’m glad that we were able to turn the afternoon around.  G and L got along really well, which surprised me only because G is usually so shy when she first meets people.  C and I are already discussing getting the girls together again after we get back from Peoria mid-May.  C also emailed me to assure me of the fact that today’s events were not typical and that we should still feel safe here.  I told her she didn’t need to worry about that at all.  It just served as a reminder that you have to be vigilant with your kids (and yourself) wherever you are.

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