Tempting Child Protective Services

When my kids were littler and I was a more paranoid mom, I saw this feature which showed that little children have no clear idea what a "stranger" is, with the result that one minute after moms instructed their offspring not to talk to strangers, the kids would do pretty much anything a stranger said. This was caught on camera -- to a little kid, a "stranger" looks scary like a monster or the bogeyman, so if the person looked nice, he was by definition not a stranger.

This terrified me, so I made a point not only of clarifying that a stranger might look nice, but also of testing the kids by driving by as they walked somewhere and role-playing their resisting my efforts to give them candy or have them help me find my missing puppy or whatever.

In retrospect this was a bit over the top on my part, especially for our neighborhood, but cut me some slack. They were my first kids. Now I'm a slacker mom who wouldn't even notice if the younger ones went missing.*

This has evolved into a running gag where if I happen to come home from work or from errands and see my kids coming home from school or the park, I slow down, roll down the window and offer them a lift home in my creepiest Creeper voice, "Hey, Little Boy, you want to get in my car? I'll give you some caaaandy."

(Hahahaha. I also wolf-whistle and cat-call Mr. W and he pretends to blush.)

Today I did this to Youngest Weed and a friend. His friend didn't get the joke and was somewhat put out that I didn't follow through with the candy.

And the Lord only knows what he told his parents.

*Attn CPS: that was a joke.