On Tuesday I took Jake to Sainsbury’s. As usual, he wanted to help by pushing the basket. The basket with no wheels. As usual, he pushed it a bit, said, “Oh, no wheels!” then carried on. Then stopped, turned to me and said (complete with pointing index finger), “Be careful. People.” I duly nodded and told him he was right. And he was careful, just like he always is.
As I crossed the busy intersection between the onions and the hummus aisle, I noticed Jake had stopped. He’d noticed an elderly woman in a mobility scooter and waited for her to go first. So I stopped and waited too. She however, didn’t budge. Instead, she chose that moment to patronise me.
“You’ve left your baby,” she said, looking at me like I’d just tried to stuff him into a sack and throw him in a river.
All my childhood schooling in suppressing one’s instincts kicked in as I gritted my teeth and said “I haven’t left him, he’s stopped so you can go.”
She was deaf and/or ignored me and said, “You should be careful, I could have hit him.”
I said, “Thank you but he’s actually stopped so you can go.”
In the middle of this excruciating exchange, Jake sensibly decided it was safe to cross the intersection and pushed the basket over to join me.
“Oh!” the woman said, “He’s helping you.” No shit Sherlock.
When she finally moved, Jake turned and said, “Bye!” with his irresistible toddler cheer.
She didn’t even say thank you.
Old people today. I don't know. If you ask me, technology’s ruined them.