Saturday was our village 'fest' where the car park and shopping precinct are given over to stalls selling everything from olive oil to handicrafts to sponsored bricks for African classrooms. There are tombolas and home-made cakes and even a fair-ride. So my little people were happy, especially when, around lunchtime there was a cheer-leading display. After a couple of routines I suggested that it might be time to go home, but Gilby was adamant that he wanted to stay and watch more of the 'dancing'.
In an effort to stave off the now-frequent-terrible-twos-tantrum I acquiesced. How silly. Because then he just kicked off with even more of a vengeance when they actually finished. He sobbed in the street and refused to walk back to the car, stepping out behind parked cars shouting, 'No, no, no...' continuously at the top of his voice.
I think he was lamenting the dancing being over, but by this time he had lost most of the power of meaningful communication and wouldn't listen to reason. I was pushing the pram and holding hands with a skipping 4-year-old, and just wanted to be home. So - I picked Gilby up under one arm, pushed the pram vigorously with the other and let Gertie fend for herself. It wasn't a good look, and it certainly wasn't my finest hour of parenting. But we got back to the car in one piece, eventually. What I didn't need was a total stranger to wind down the window of a passing car and scream, "Don't hold him like a sack of potatoes!" at the top of her voice.
Who did she think she was? How dare she interfere? Don't scream out of car windows at stressed families!