I was walking through Steven’s Green on Sunday when I witnessed a woman dealing with a difficult child. The child, about 4 years old, clearly was tired and not wanting to go home or sit in the pram. Mum (yes, an assumption I know) was frazzled from shopping and having trouble trying to pick up the child and put him in the pram while dealing with too all the shopping bags.
So child would be put in the pram and child would get out of the pram, craying rather uncontrollably. Mum would drop the shopping, pick up the child and put him back in the pram. Each time she put him in she did it with more and more force and I admit that I was feeling extremely uncomfortable watching this.
After the third or forth time she slammed the child into the pram and slapped it – well, that was too much for the man sitting on a nearby bench – he approached her and told her to back off and leave the child alone. Her response was to scream at him and hit out again, he grabbed her by the arm but she pulled free and ran off with the pram, screaming obsenities which he returned.
Years ago everyone would have turned a blind eye to this sort of thing no matter how uncomfortable it made them feel. I felt that I wanted to step in, but didn’t quite feel comfortable intruding – but I’m so very glad that someone else there did feel comfortable standing up for a four-year old.