In early November my granddaughter, Louisa, and I were at the Ancient Playground at 85th Street, by the Met. The northeaster that followed Hurricane Sandy had just passed through. The playground had reopened only the afternoon before; small piles of snow were everywhere. Children were running around; grateful parents and nannies were engaged with their cellphones.
As I watched Louisa running from pillar to post, I overheard the following:
Father: “Lucy, put your coat back on!”
Lucy: “No, I’m hot!”
Father: “Lucy, look at the other children. They ALL have their coats on!”
Lucy: “I don’t want to. I’m hot!”
Father: “Lucy, if you don’t put your coat on, all the parents at this playground will lose respect for you.”