so i was sitting on the tram today minding my own business and hoping nobody sits down right next to me although there are several other empty seats. it wasn’t full so  i was quite comfortable and i didn’t really pay attention when a woman and her two small children got on- about 5 and 2 years old.

the 5 year old got her own seat and was very proud of herself while the younger one was sat on his mother’s lap and immediately started feeling disenfranchised.

his mother explained that it’s too dangerous for him to sit alone, that he would fall when the tramway took a turn, and made futile attempts at distracting the beginning he kept pointing at his sister and pulling at his mother’s arm – draped protectively around his protruding baby belly. when his mother didn’t react, he started to hit her and to squeeze himself out of her motherly grip, all the while squeaking and squealing and twisting and winding and making quite the spectacle of himself. this made his sister very embarrassed – a feeling that she expressed by leaving her seat and walking over to the ticket machine where she stood in triumph with her back to her family.

it was the last straw for the imprisoned toddler. in a matter of seconds his face was flooded with tears, a mix of disbelief and terror in his already reddened and bulging eyes. the only word he could utter was NOOOOOOOO and he repeated it over and over again in a harsh guttural voice, very reminiscent of the exorcist.

so this got me thinking about 2 things:

1. kids can be tyrants and parents are their slaves.

2. there is value in allowing someone to fall flat on their face, if they so insist.