Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…

Took Boy to the shore this weekend on a gloriously sunny morning. Having been advised by Hubby it was too far to walk, Boy, Grirl and I nonetheless set off determinedly with the scooter and pushchair.  Spirits high, we headed along the shore in the bright sunshine until Boy clocked a small child with equally diminutive bike and stablisers coming up on the rear. Clearly disgruntled, and suffering badly from wheel-envy, I watched Boy as he positioned himself in front of the child and then mirrored the child’s swerving as it tried to pass safely, until finally the inevitable happened and front bike wheel connected with rear scooter wheel.  I watched, ashamed, as the small child wavered, over-corrected and in slow motion toppled to the tarmac.  It’s pretty demoralising to see such malicious behaviour from your own child, and Boy was frogmarched up to mutter an inadequate ‘sorry’. The parent wasn’t in sight for me to do the same, so I checked the child was alright and Boy was advised to do an abrupt 360 as we were going home, sans ice cream. 

The surly manner in which his punishment was received escalated, with a repeat of the scooting block performance directed at the pushchair, then on confiscation of the scooter performed with his feet.  When he was returned forcefully to the rear of the pushchair he walked moodily along, kicking the rear wheels so we skidded erratically across the promenade. I stopped and sat silently (not trusting myself to speak) on a damp bench.  This was received as poorly as any telling off and he stomped off up the wet grass into the middle of the hill, where I saw him – a mere spec on the horizon – remove his hat and throw it grumpily into the long grass.  Some stomping around later, we retrieved the hat and performed the ubiquitous cuff-drag-with-wailing routine away from the shore and up the hill, feeling the beady eyes of every passerby condemning my parenting skills. I’m only too familiar with the derision directed at parents when such scenes occur, only usually I’m doing the deriding, not creating the scene. Mortified.  Only after 10 minutes of dragging did Boy relent and break down into genuine remorse, at which point I did the exact opposite of received wisdom and apologised too.  We knelt, hugging at the roadside and knew that all was right with the world again.  Girl slept on, oblivious, bless her.

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