Viv got drinking fountain blocked today. She knows that she can reach the button on the kid-height fountain in the Zoomazium with the aid of the stepstool that the zoo leaves out so kids can climb the elephant sculpture, so she carried the stool from its usual spot on the left side of the statue and centered it underneath the fountain's button. As she put one foot on the stool and started to step up, a horrid little beast of a four year old ran over, stepped on the stool, elbowed Viv in the ribs and started drinking. I put my hand between the two of them, gently pulled the little boy off of my kid and told him, rather sternly, that he needed to wait his turn. Viv managed to squeeze in a sip before he open palmed me, shoved Viv again and kept drinking, paying not a modicum of attention to my raised voice telling him that he was behaving very rudely. His mother then came over, smiled at me as though her flailing sprog hadn't just shoved my tiny snowflake, and blandly told her son that it was polite to wait his turn. She even him continue to drink while Viv was standing there asking me if it was her turn yet. If Viv had behaved in that manner, she would have never had a chance to put her feet back on the ground before her little hiney was back in the carseat. We walked away, and I told Viv that we would have to come back later when he was done. However, he continued to drink and play in the fountain for a long while, so we did not get a chance to try again. I did notice his mother earlier, sitting with the boy's father, both of them engrossed in their phones, although I didn't realize that the boy running through the play area, screaming and throwing things, prompting the other children to tell him to "stop scaring them," was theirs until she claimed him from the fountain.
I find the school of "oh, well," free range parenting infuriating. I don't allow Viv to run through crowded indoor play areas and she is always required to share, wait her turn and put away any toys she uses. I find that I dislike going indoor places where parents congregate on rainy days as they somehow seem to feel that being indoors allows them to not supervise their children. She's been drinking fountain blocked, slide blocked, tunnel blocked, bobbly animal blocked, everything you can imagine blocked by free range kids. Damn those bland parents and their unwillingness to make their kids dislike them.