On our way home from Montana, on our lllllooooooonnnngggg day of driving from Salt Lake City to Sacramento, we stopped in Reno to visit my uncle and have some dinner. We grabbed some fast food and took it to this awesome park next to the marina to have a little picnic.
It so happened that at said park on this beautiful, breezy evening, was a couple and their young son, who had brought along a very cool truck. Dylan had asked several times if he could drive it, and responded with distressed moaning when I explained that it wasn't our truck. The kids played while I ate my dinner and conversed with my uncle and husband, only half paying attention to them. Suddenly, Uncle Kenny starts laughing and points out that Dylan has found a new ride. Apparently, the little boy who owned the truck was occupied by some playground equipment and his parents' backs were turned to the vehicle, so Dylan simply hopped in the driver's seat and began to drive away. The elfin little creature who owns the toy started yelling and chasing the truck. (A few other kids saw him doing this and thought it seemed fun, I guess, because they started doing the same thing).
Fortunately, the parents who had brought this cool toy were quite cool themselves, and let Dylan continue to drive for a little while (once the chasers were safely seated as passengers), and then let him ride along as passenger while other kids at the park got to take turns driving the truck.
This experience, with generous and understanding parents at a public park, has almost rehabilitated me from my fear of "park parents" that developed when I lived in SLO. There, I watched older mothers look down their noses at me, the obviously young mom who had a toddler, was already pregnant and letting her toddler run free on the slides and ladders. It was hard to continue looking down their noses at me, since they had to stay within 3 inches of their 4-year-olds at all times. But my favorite was when an older child was choking my not-quite-two-year-old and I dared say, "Hey!" to him. His mother was furious at me for reprimanding her child. Now that I look back on it, it was rather selfish of me to regard my toddler's ability to breathe as more important that her child's desire to bully.