Pollyism of the week
With hundreds of strapping lads living in my house (well, four, but it seems like an army), we go through litres upon litres of milk.
Oh, how I wish it were like back in the day when I was a wee girl and milk was four cents a pint. How cray-cray, right? Four cents a pint! The whole country went nuts when it went up to 20 cents a litre. It was like high treason.
Now I look for the cheapest milk I can get and so I recently headed to a budget-style supermarket to buy a few litres of the liquid white gold. It was while I was walking down the dairy aisle that I began to hear yelling and swearing as two young women in their 20s pushed a small child in their shopping trolley.
He must have been about one year old, the same age as my darling Roseanna. He had tears streaming down his face and his little chest was heaving. These two women were yelling and swearing at him.
It wasn’t that yell a lot of tired mums get when it’s the final straw after a crazy day of drop-offs, pick-ups and swimming lessons, and the kids are running wild down the biscuit aisle. No, this was abusive, nasty yelling – swearing at a baby who looked tired, hungry, upset and confused.
I stopped dead in my tracks and the heat in my body started to rise. I could hear my heart thumping in my ears, and tears of anger, sadness and horror all mixing up and threatening to spill down my cheeks.
I wanted to grab the baby and run. I wanted to steal a little boy and make a citizen’s intervention. In my heart, I wanted to run at the women and, like Superman or Wonder Woman, pick them up by the scruff of their necks, tossing them like rag dolls into the frozen vegetable freezers.
Of course, violence and abuse are not the answer, but I do, on occasion, allow myself violent superpower vigilante fantasies. Instead I shook my head, bit my lip, and left the supermarket with my milk and half a pumpkin. I practically ran to my car and collapsed in the seat, then I began to cry. What hope does that wee kid have? Who on earth swears and verbally abuses a baby? What has happened to 20-cent milk and safe homes for all children?
As I drove home, I cried again (it’s a very emotional time of the month!) as I thought about my daughter and what a wonderful young mummy she is. Katherine is doing the very best at the most important job of all.
Sure, she may not have a lot of money and her partner works long hours to look after his girls, but they are kind, warm, loving parents bringing up a child who will hopefully only ever know unconditional love and will listen to her parents when they teach her manners. I’m sure she will push them. God only knows Katherine was quite the little tyrant, but as I drove home, I felt both grateful and proud that there will be no violence or abuse in this big, old home of ours.