A strange thing happened to me yesterday which has made me question whether I am slightly more neurotic than I originally thought. I have to say I don't think I'm neurotic at all - I let my children walk around the house eating food and don't mind clearing up mess (but now I'm sounding more like Slummy Mummy). Ok, so I let my children ride bikes and don't panic about them falling off, or I let them climb climbing frames in playgrounds and feel relaxed about it. That's what I mean about not being neurotic. But after yesterday's incident, I am beginning to doubt myself. So I need someone to tell me that I did the right thing, although in simply asking the question maybe it confirms what I don't want. Let me explain.
As I was leaving Renée's swimming lesson yesterday I noticed a little boy, around three years of age (I am basing this guesstimation on the fact that he was slightly older than Edie, but nearer Edie's age than Renée's). He was starting to climb along the edge of a wall whilst his Mother (or the person I assumed to be his Mother) was engaged in chit chat with another Mother and her children. As I loaded Renée into the car I kept my eye on the little boy who seemed to be edging further and further along the wall. And although the beginning of the wall was low enough for him to climb on, the furthest part was at least ten feet off the ground and directly below, nothing but concrete. Now I know for a fact that I wouldn't have wanted my youngest child walking along the ledge, nor even my eldest child, or my very capable husband for that matter. In brief, the wall was extremely high for anyone, especially a little boy, who, had he fallen, would have done himself more than a great deal of damage.
I stood for a while, hoping that his Mother would turn around, realise he was gone, and when she did, run straight to his rescue. But she didn't. She continued her chat, all the while with her back to the child, oblivious to his increasing danger. I meanwhile, was left wondering what to do. Should I alert her to the fact that her child was in danger? Or should I forget about it, climb into my car and drive off? For a while I kept watching, urging his Mother to turn around. Still no joy. And then a wobble from the little boy and my heart almost jumped out of my body. Now I really had to say something.
'Excuse me'. I shrieked (this was truly scary stuff, believe me). 'Do any of you have a little boy with a red jumper? Well, he's just about to fall off a really high wall over here.' There, I'd said it. I could no longer be held responsible for any hideous accidents. I expected the Mother to run to her child, and if not exactly catch him as he fell, at least reach up for him and guide him down and cover him with kisses in a warm motherly embrace, grateful that disaster had been averted just in time. But maybe that's just me. Because that's not at all what happened.
Instead, she turned around, without moving her body, just her head. And she looked at me, somewhat frostily I might add, and said 'Yeah, I know. He does that every week.' And then she turned back to her friend and carried on chatting. There was no 'Thankyou for saving my child.' Ok, so maybe that's a little over the top since he didn't actually fall. But if that had been me, I would at least have said 'Thanks. Yep, he's mine. And I know it looks ridiculously dangerous, but he somehow manages it every week and I'm not worried about him, but thanks for letting me know.' But then, I would never have let my child climb along such a high wall in the first place. Or maybe that's just me...
hayley balozi posted a blog post
1 day ago