Having been a parent for over 5 years now and having 2 of the little feckers darlings there have been many occasions where their behaviour or appearance in public has left just a tad to be desired. Like when Boy dressed himself for the first time. When he hid in a packed Sainbury’s. When Baby took an enormous teething dump on the bus and we still had 30 minutes till my stop. When Boy freaked out in the middle of a packed Haven show because a soft toy was scaring him witless. The first time I dressed Baby. And other stuff. As a result I thought I had become far less judgemental as a person, particularly towards other parents. Today proved I haven’t completely eradicated it.
Today I had the Dentist part 2 (my two fillings) at the amusingly annoying time of 2.30 (yes really) so was once again at home this morning. So I volunteered for the school run. And, man, was it cold. Colder than a well iced G & T up Mont Blanc. Colder than Genghis Khan’s heart. We left and a polar bear padded by. Torvill and Dean were practicing their new routine on number 33’s fish pond. Brass Monkeys looked terrified. You get the picture. Having safely deposited Boy in to Red Class I headed home. To get home I have to pass another school which Boy does not attend owing to it being Catholic and us not being. And heading for that school was a mum with her boy and he was wearing school shorts (the kind that look like school trousers but end above the knee). And Gus Poyet have mercy on my soul I judged her. Specifically I thought ‘what the FUCK is she thinking. That kid’s going to get hypothermia’.
Having thought a bit more since then though there are some explanations. I have boiled them down to this.
1) As they were running late (I was heading home) he may have spilled breakfast on his only clean long trousers. If that were me though I’d have stuck Boy in jeans and apologised profusely to his teachers. Therefore this scenario disturbs me because it suggests the Catholic school prefers uniform to common sense.
2) The shorts were the only school uniform available to her, reinforcing the conclusion to 1 above but throwing child poverty in to the mix. Not at all a pleasant thought.
3) He wanted to wear the shorts and having spent ages trying to talk him down she gave in. Kids do some pretty mad things after all. If this is the case I hope she packed a pair of long trousers to change in to and the number of a good child psychologist.
4) He has some weird kind of below the knee skin condition
5) He’s training to be an ascetic. This week shorts in the cold. Next week up a pillar like Simeon Stylites.
6) They’ve just moved down here from Newcastle.
Seriously, am I wrong to judge here (I suspect I am)? And can anyone come up with a better or at least less depressing reason than the six above?