I took B and H to Frontierland, a playground near us, to tire them out for naptime. But after I’d parked, as I was organizing our stuff, putting on the Ergo, etc., I realized that there were three or four adults yelling at each other on the playground. Luckily both kids were still in their car seats, so I tried to surreptitiously watch to get a handle on the situation, but then H was crying (super fussy; possible teething) and B was saying “MOOOOOOOMMY I WANT TO GO PLAAAAYYYYY” over and over again.
There was another mom coming down the stairs herding her two kids in front of her, and she was saying “We have to go wait in the car until those people leave.” And I said, “Does it look like they’re leaving?” She said, “I hope so.” Then she put her kids in the car.
One of the guys was now following around one of the women, who was holding a girl who looked about four years old. The guy was shouting at her, and then he started yelling, “Someone call the police! I need someone to call the police for me! This is kidnapping!” So I got out my phone and called the police department, and told them where I was and that there were a bunch of adults fighting (verbally). The dispatcher said they already had a unit on the way, but asked me to stay on the line in case they needed more info.
By this point the couple was coming down the stairs toward my car, the kid was crying, and the man kept saying to the woman, “Don’t hurt her! Don’t hurt her!” I got in my car and that’s when I saw the police car pull up. An officer got out and separated everyone, and then he seemed to have it under control so I, along with all the moms who had been waiting cautiously with our kids in our cars, headed for the playground.
It actually sounded like the dad was in the right – he said it was his day to have the kid, she spent the night at his house and then when he took her to playground this morning, the mom showed up and tried to take her back. The dad had the custody order in his wallet, but the mom didn’t have anything to back her up.
Up at the playground, some nosy moms were talking (really loudly) about how awful it would be to have to carry those papers around. One said, “That’s why you gotta keep it amicable,” as if people choose to have really contentious breakups where they constantly fight over their children. Mostly I was just really sad for the kid, who looked like she was about B’s age, and who got forcibly carried off of a playground by her mom while her dad yelled at them and then the cops came. How awful.