When Sharing is Scary
By: The Queen Father
Ok, I am not a hippy tree-hugger type of guy, although I pride myself on my spirituality and an attitude not entirely devoid of compassion toward our fellow man (and woman), but sometimes, this mantra of ‘Sharing is Caring’ gets manipulated in a shameless way by parents. It happened to me during one of my visits to our favorite playground in Holland Park –a bustling jungle of toddlers, nannies, and parents in search of relaxation (whatever…) while the little ones engage and socialize with each other in the sand pit.
I met this little boy, slightly older than Gabriel, I will call him Jay, and his obnoxious mother, that I will call UDW.
Like any other responsible parent, when I venture out with my son, I carry with me a duffel bag stuffed with everything I might need: snacks, beakers of water, little toys, in order to front every need my little dictator might have. That day was quite hot, and I had the idea of keeping his water beaker out at hand to top up his liquids now and then.
Gabriel is quite diligent really, he would wander off to play and then come back to take a sip or two when he gets thirsty, but that day, this little boy Jay, got it into his little head that it was ok to do the same and help himself to my son’s drink.
The problem I had was that Jay had a seriously runny nose (I mean, running all the way down to his t-shirt), so the first time he caught me off guard and stuck the beaker in his mouth, I had to quickly discard the water and wash it off with anti bacterial wipes. Unfortunately this was not going to be the end of it.
Little Jay kept on coming back more and more, trying to get his hands (and face) on the beaker, and my son was getting more and more frustrated with this invasion of his private space. Things got worse when I started taking the beaker into my hands to avoid it being sucked by Jay, because he wouldn’t take refusal lightly and decided to run back in tears to his mum, at the other end of the playground.
I thought that was the end of it, until Jay reappeared with his mummy.
“What’s the problem?” she asked me.
“Oh… Hi… Nice to meet you… Nothing, it’s just that…” I stammered.
“What? Is he bothering you?” she clipped.
“No, no… It’s just that it seems he’s developed a liking for my son’s water beaker and…” I tried to explain.
“Well? What’s wrong with it? Sharing is caring. They are children for God’s sake!” She concluded icily, and walked off, shaking her head.
No apologies, no telling her son not to touch stuff belonging to others, nothing. I was the bad parent, the selfish individual in need of scolding. What a bitch.
Obviously, if I were slightly less diplomatic than I am, I would have remarked on the sorry state of her son’s nasal passage. I could’ve asked her to wipe down her son’s face instead of letting him spread his snot all over my son’s beaker. But I didn’t.
I instead asked God to cicatrize her vagina so that she wouldn’t push any more kids out into the world (not really…).
I also thought Jay would give up his little habit, but he didn’t, and within half an hour he was back to pester me. How bloody thirsty can a toddler be? I mean, Jesus Christ! This little monster was on to take me down.
I had to stop it. But what could I do? I mean, wrestling a two-year-old in the sand pit for a water beaker is not my idea of fun, so I grabbed my son with one hand, Jay with the other, and marched toward UDW. (She was stuck to her Blackberry, texting away.)
“Erm… Excuse me…” I said.
“Yes?” she replied without looking at me.
“I’m sorry, but he is doing it again. Can you tell him to stop?”
“Oh… My God! Here!” she said in an exasperated tone, pointing at the floor. “Have your son to take a sip out of his beaker if you want to, I don’t mind…” she said dismissively.
I glanced at the beaker she was pointing at. It was covered in snot and sand, filthy.
“Ok, lady, maybe I did not make myself clear, perhaps I am too polite. CAN YOU KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR KID INSTEAD OF OFFERING TO DRINK FROM THAT FILTHY THING ON THE FLOOR?” I shouted.
“How dare you!” she retaliated, “Who do you think you are talking to?” She stood up.
“Obviously to somebody that would rather see her son going around begging for water rather than clean up his beaker!” I retorted.
“HE IS NOT MY SON! I’M THE NANNY!” she dismissed me.
“You mean you get paid to be such an uncaring bitch?” it just came out of my mouth, among the general laughter of the other people.
The lady went purple with embarrassment and snapped “THAT’S IT! WE’RE GOING! We don’t want to share the same playground with such selfish assholes!” she gathered up all her stuff and left, still muttering insults.
I couldn’t care less for that stupid woman, or the fact that she called me an asshole (I did call her a bitch), but I felt bad for Jay. She was supposed to be taking care of him; instead she didn’t even notice that the poor little one was gagging for a drink of water and his beaker had turned into a source of cholera.
So I picked up my little treasure, gave him a cuddle and noticed that the woman had indeed left behind her dirty beaker. I picked it up and rinsed it under the water at the fountain. It’s still in my bag, as I have not met Jay or his nanny again.
But I intend to return it.
P.S. “UDW” stands for “Uncaring Dirty Woman”, just for precision’s sake…