So I was in The Gardens for dinner the other night, with Caleb, Caitlin, and our helper.
We were in the food court; there was/is a small corner near its entrance that has a play mat – you know those jigsaw foam thingies that assemble into a mat. Caitlin was already eyeing that when we entered, insisting to go play there even though there really isn’t anything there to play with- maybe only a small table and chair(s).
During dinner I had noted a couple of boys, very likely brothers, walking in towards their table, where their mum was already seated when we arrived. Presumably the boys had finished their meals and went out wandering whilst mum was still chowing down her meal. I noted their entrance because one of the boys was kicking his sneakers on the floor while he walked, making loud squeeks along the way….. brat.
It was after Caitlin and I had finished our dinner, and whilst our helper was still feeding Caleb, that Caitlin insisted that we moved over to the playmat. Okay what the heck, I thought.
So she was on the mat, Rather dirty one at that, playing for the sake of playing on a new someone-else’s-as-long-as-it’s-not-mine mat. The brats came over. One of them nonchalantly lay on the floor mat, not that far from Caitlin. Then the other lay down too. Caitlin didn’t think anything of it, continuing to reach for stray pieces to assemble on the floor. The younger brother grabbed some of the stray jigsaw squares pieces threw up in the air, probably hoping that it’d land on my daughter, and probably would continue throwing each time getting closer, just to get some kinda reaction from someone.
I knew this was going to be bad news. “Put your shoes on darling, we are going”. Not very reluctantly, Caitlin started getting her shoes on. It wasn’t really a fun place- these weren’t fun toys anyway; not because of these brats.
The younger brother, still lying on the ground / mat, started kicking the furniture; kicking and kicking that it started edging and pushing into Caitlin. Caitlin looked at me. She had a WTF look on her face- if 5 year olds can muster a WTF gesture that would be it.
I grunted at him. But- yup, you guessed it, he didn’t care. Like I wasn’t there, like it’s all fun and games still.
What he did next really took the cake. Earlier he had come over with a mouthful of ice, from his cup from the table where his mum was. Here, he took out pieces of ice from his mouth, and threw them across the court towards the far wall. If you were seated in that area you wouldn’t have missed it- the action of someone throwing something would easily catch your peripheral vision, if the smashing sound of the ice didn’t.
I saw this, and looked over to his mum. She didn’t care. I am sure she saw. I couldn’t believe it.
Another smash. I looked over to the mum again. She saw me. I looked over to her kids, and back to her, and shook my head. She looked away, arrogantly.