by MONTY DIAMOND
Is it ever appropriate to tell off someone else’s child? This was the question I asked myself this week.
I witnessed a really uncomfortable situation involving a child being berated by someone who was not his parent. Then, only a few days later, I was shocked to find myself scolding a mini-human that did not belong to me.
The first situation took place in a lingerie shop. A little boy, about three years old, was making friends with a mannequin and her pretty lacy bra, while his mum perused the store. He was pulling and poking at things and having a jolly good old time. When the sales assistant spotted the boy she tersely yelled at him across the shop, “We don’t touch that, little boy”. He promptly recoiled his hands and started to cry.
His mother walked over to him while firmly informing the sales assistant not to discipline her child. The altercation quickly escalated into a ‘yell off’ between the women over the little boy’s curiosity for mannequin breasticles.
After flinging insults at each other for a couple of minutes, the mother stormed out of the store with her son dragging behind her. I crept out from behind the ‘Loveable’ underwear range (which provided a perfect hiding/viewing place) and walked out of the shop… sans new bra.
I felt a bit icky about the whole thing. It’s fair enough the sales assistant didn’t want the kid to play with her display, but did that give her the right to tell him off? Surely the right thing to do was simply to alert his mother and let her handle it? What sort of a grumpster yells at a kid just for touching something?!
A few days after witnessing The Great Battle of Victoria Secrets, I walked straight into another awkward scenario however this time I was the grumpster.
It happened at a friend’s place. While my little boy was lying on the floor sucking on his feet (gifted child), my friend’s little boy was playing near him. All of a sudden a high-pitched screech of pain left my baby’s mouth. I bolted over to the scene of the crime. My friend’s little boy looked up at me with a block in his hand and a look on his face that screamed GUILTY.