Anyhoo, I was chatting to DS yesterday and was reminded (I forget how) about something that happened a few years ago.
I was walking through a shopping center (mall to you non Brits) when I noticed, some way in front of me, a parent caring for a child in a pushchair…as I got closer I could see that the child was in some distress and was coughing a lot. Obviously, as a parent myself I was concerned for the little mite, and was even a little relieved when I got close and saw that he had calmed down and was no longer in clear distress.
However, I noticed something…something far more insidious and I recognised it immediately as the possible cause of the poor childs coughing fit. It was an allergic reaction, and it was so obvious to me that I had to mention it to the father. I guess that, as a parent, you can’t always notice the dangers around your child, especially from something so innocuous.
So, being the kind hearted parent and good citizen that I am, I leant in close to the father and mentioned..”I think I see what caused your son to choke, I am pretty sure it is an allergic reaction”. The father looks up at me, somewhat quizzically now, but not dismissive of this strangers advice. “What is it?” says he.
I take a deep breath, almost a sigh really and point my finger in the direction of the child…pointing directly to a mark on the childs chest. So obvious now that I come to think of it, I almost felt sorry that this father was so clearly blinded by the love for his child and the distress that he had felt. He followed my gaze to the offending mark and that’s when he realised and I saw a look of understanding….it was the Manchester United crest on the childs shirt. A glimmer of recognition flashed across his face and he turns to see me nodding sympathetically.
“That’s close to child cruelty right there” says I, “You are lucky I don’t report you to child services mate” as I back away from the loving fathers swinging fist. Such a strangely angry reaction for such a random act of kindness from a stranger.
As I rapidly accelerate away, I think to myself:
“There is just no helping some people”