30 June, 2009

The Devil Child of Redhill >:(

So the other day as I sat my (tired and hot) sorry arse down at Redhill Bus Station (having run from platform 3 at the railway station above, just missing my early bus home), throwing my bag to the ground and then settling into a reasonable impression of a dog that's been in the sun too long...I squinted up at the arrivals board to see how long I would have to (theoretically) wait...it wasn't long, only 7 minutes, so I exhaled heavily, wiped my brow and then pulled my rucksack over with my foot and plunged inside for my book (just to help pass the time) my mind and body starting their settle towards a state of rest...it can't have been one paragraph later that I was interrupted by a harsh whistling sound, over and over again coming from the shelter in the centre of the traffic island...a small boy, perhaps six years old, was stood inside next to a dark haired woman who was doing a very good job of ignoring him (reading a magazine and rolling a cigarette) as he stood inches from her back, alternating blowing the whistle with all his might and then beating her back (as hard as he could) with his free hand...when this didn't elicit any response he took two steps back and threw the whistle at the woman's head...

I'll admit, I was openly gawping at this point (along with most of the other people waiting for buses) - my book forgotten in my hand - as he ran to the shelter window and started banging his hands against it, each one formed up into the correct position (if you will forgive the Americanism) to be flicking her "the bird"...it was at this precise moment that the woman suddenly stood, charging over to where the whistle lay on the floor, stamping on it once, very firmly, the sound of shattering plastic clearly audible, then returned, still avoiding any eye contact with the child, to her magazine...

At once, the child ran out of sight behind the bus station office, hands covering his eyes, noisy wails emerging from his mouth...mother, I was guessing now, didn't even glance up...when the child reappeared, it was to throw both his shoes at her (missing both times, but using such force they bounced out of the shelter and half way across the distance between him and me, tumbling to a halt near the rubbish bin)...more indecent gestures banging the glass followed, until he slumped down on a chair near the first bus stop, pausing only for a second to flick a McDonalds drink carton (half full of water where residual ice had melted) at a girl I later presumed must have been his sister (as she took it completely in her stride, just sticking her tongue out, to his enormous frustration)...shortly after this my bus arrived, and I piled on, leaving him to his tantrum (and them to their nightmare)...

I surprised myself, I was actually extremely angry at him and felt very sad for her...I mean, the mum was hardly doing herself any favours, but something about being in the position I am (with Flyingpops being pregnant) just filled me with rage when I juxtaposed this behaviour into a future where this was happening (after all the tears, laughter, joy, despair, pain, excitement, dreaming and bloody hard work) to a woman who must have gone through similar sorts of emotions and happy preparation as we have done...only to have this ungrateful devil visited upon her...I mean really...what would you do?

5 comments:

-MR X- said...

Could be attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder ;-) ( en.wikipedia.org/.../Attention-deficit_hyperactivity_disorder )

The fact the mother was so used to it would suggest she's grown to live with it.

If Jamie did that - he'd be sleeping outside.............. which in the current climate would probably be no bad thing!

¨°º©[ Fink ]©º°¨ said...

I think he needed a bloody good wallop, but I'm not sure that's allowed in this day and age!

Anonymous said...

Hi,my reaction was completely different.This sounds to me like sheer desperation on the part of a totally neglected child.I interpreted his actions as a series of attempts to elicite some attention from his mum.How hard is it to talk to a child,take a book to share and of course do deals for good behaviour?Of course maybe a good wallop would be quicker.....

Sarah said...

I am inclined to sit in the middle which is unusal for me! I think the parenting skills were nonexistent in this case but the child was undoubtedly troubled and quite possibly the sufferer of some sort of ADHD type thing. But perhaps we are too quick to say that there is something wrong when it could be simple bad behaviour... and a good wallop goes a long way in my book. ;-)

Tom Hopwood said...

I find duct tape invaluable, stops them wriggling in the sack.