I’m angry. My fury stoked by an incident that happened in our park on Sunday. I took Master A and his friend to have a kick about in the afternoon. The park was empty save a mum, with four children, three boys, one girl.
Two of the children looked a couple of years older than Master A and his friend, the other two boys, younger. The mother was of a type dressed in her Joules wellies, Cath Kidston print dress and Barbour jacket.
After having a few goes on the swing, and clambering over a set of monkey bars, Master A and his friend walked over to try out the tyre zip wire. They queued to take their turn. However, when it came to their go, the older boy didn’t get off while the younger boys stood nose to nose with Master A and his friend blocking their way.
The mother watched on without saying a word.
I walked over to Master A and his friend aside, and advised them to go and play somewhere else.
Five minutes later, they were playing on a rope frame, when the “gang of four” muscled in again. They got into my son and his friend’s personal space and started to goad them.
Again, much to my chagrin, the mother remained mute.
My patience wearing thin, I walked back over to the playing area, this time escorting Master A and his friend to the other side of the park.
Finally, I could sit back and relax. Master A and his friend went off to roam, leaving their football by the side of a bench.
• Also by Working Mum: Is Ritalin the new gin?
Shortly after, I watched with some relief the Family From Hell make its way to the exit. However, I noticed the older boy was heading for Master A’s ball. He turned to look at me, smirked, and then wantonly kicked the ball away towards the car park. The mother ignored it – and my subsequent calls of “Excuse me” as I raced after her to get her attention.
Eventually, when I got to within a few feet from her and she could ignore my calls no longer, she turned around.
I politely asked her to get her son to fetch the ball and put it back from where he had kicked it.
She looked at me with contempt, like I was the one in the wrong, too conservative to understand or appreciate her independent and free-spirited offspring.
Like a Mexican standoff, I held her gaze. I detest rudeness and bad manners in children but even more I detest arrogant Joules welly wearing mummies.
Working Mum, pleased to report the ball was retrieved and returned to its position by the bench – however, not by the boy, who threw himself on the ground in a fit of rage and refused to carry out the task, but by the mother. Says it all really…