Thursday, February 28, 2013

Today, with about a dozen other people, I watched a young mum with a babe in her arms, having a struggle with one of those “terrible twos”. The child was lying on the ground screaming her head off. People in most of the big shopping carpark and the adjacent café all turned to watch.

Her mother was very patient but helpless. An older woman stepped over and had a sympathetic chat but the child yelled on. With everyone watching but doing nothing, Mum eventually dragged the child off by one arm to even more determined shrieking and an embarrassing show of resistance and agonising pain.

After a few steps mum let the youngster down on the ground where a full-blown tantrum developed. I walked over and said to the now somewhat distressed mother, “Would you like me to pick her up?” and, without waiting for a reply, I did so. Of course, the noise subsided on the instant.

I carried her with her Mum and baby brother over to the supermarket. We fitted the two of them them into a two-seater shopping trolley. They disappeared inside and peace returned to the forecourt.

I left the scene quickly. The last time I kissed a child that wasn’t a close relation I was reported to the Methodist Harassment Police and I had to write an abject apology.

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