The other day In town and passing some time at a local coffee shop. From a nearby store came an older woman with a small child of toddler age. The woman – obviously the little girl’s gran – was busy trying to usher the child on. The toddler was having none of it. At first it began with a whining complaint. When the gran continued to try and usher her on the whining complaint became a louder cry. As the gran tried to reach out the child the cry finally became a full throated scream.
The wayward toddler screamed as best she could. She cried and gripped onto the railings and refused to move. With the noise the little girl was making as her tantrum erupted those surrounding began to crane their necks. Most shook their heads with disapproval (including myself and my coffee companion).
The poor gran was embarrassed at the scene the child was making. Each time she tried to reach out to the toddler it just made matters worse. Then the most miraculous thing happened. Out of the blue a woman approached the gran and helped her put the toddler back into her buggy. She communicated with the little girl and even made her laugh. Immediately the tantrum dissolved. I have never seen such relief as that that was on the face of the struggling gran. The toddler was calmed and they could continue about their business. The gran thanked the woman profusely. She was a stranger to them but with such a simple act she had given so much.
For the rest of the day I was angry with myself. I was angry because rather than becoming frustrated at having to listen to the screams of a toddler I could have helped much like that woman did. Toddlers throw tantrums, that much is obvious. There could be a great many reasons why that little boy or girl is upset and it isn’t always because they are not getting their own way. Imagine what life would be like if more people thought like that woman how helped. Rather than grumping and groaning at the failings of others take the time to raise others up. This doesn’t just apply to child care. It is relevant in many aspects of life. Don’t sit back and watch others struggle. Be an enabler. This is definitely something I want to do more of.
To that woman who helped a stranger – you are a star madame and an inspiration.