It was quite a good day in the shop. Arrived early, got a parking space…

A good day can have such a simple foundation. Saw some regulars, wished them compliments of the season, bought a few bits, sold a few bits, had a mince pie, went home.

I picked Julia up and we went for a cup of tea and a toasted teacake, followed by shopping. While we were there we witnessed an unpleasant scene and an example of appalling parenting.

The parent in the example of appalling parenting was playing some sort of film on a telephone and holding a child in front of it with one hand while she ate a baked potato with the other. Whatever happened to talking to your kids?

The unpleasant scene was, to summarise, a middle aged daughter abusing her elderly mother, and dragging things up from years in the past. Not many daughters, she said, would put up with it. I won’t dwell on it because, unlike many of the conversations I listen to, there was no comedy involved. It was a tragic insight into the way your life could go.

It put a damper on things, and six hours later, it’s still depressing me.

I’ll leave you with a poem by Philip Larkin on child-rearing. It contains bad language.

Sorry about the downbeat nature of the post, I’m hoping to get back to normal tomorrow.

22 thoughts on “Eavesdropping

  1. Clare Pooley

    I am shocked at the number of young parents who ignore their children because they are using their phones, or use technology as a baby-sitter. I know of one little boy who doesn’t speak because he isn’t spoken to.
    I am sure the mother and daughter incident was very disturbing to witness. These flare-ups in relationships often occur at stressful times like Christmas but it may be they are like it all the time. There may be long-standing bitterness because of things that happened when the daughter was young but now that her mother is old and no longer a threat she should be a little compassionate, maybe.

    1. quercuscommunity

      It did seem to go on, and she did refer to things from years ago. It could just be frustration after an irritating outing. I hope so, because it wasn’t doing either of them any good.

  2. Helen

    Oh dear, Larkinโ€™s poem is definitely on the pessimistic side!

    How sad for the child who was handed a phone instead of being engaged by their mum ๐Ÿ˜ข.

      1. Helen

        Iโ€™ve seen it quite a bit. Eg at a meeting for parents and their children regarding online safety, the girls of another mother sat all the way through playing on their iPadโ€™s. I wonder much of the online safety thing they took in. Also, child visitors to my house transfixed by their phone instead of engaging with my daughter….. the list goes on!

      2. quercuscommunity

        I think we just missed that sort of thing with our kids. We had oner computer, in the dining room, and no phones until they were mid-teens. As soon as some people in the street got wireless the battle for security was lost as they could hijack the signal on phones or games machines in the bedroom.

  3. arlingwoman

    I didn’t check out the link. I was pretty sure which Larkin poem it was ๐Ÿ˜‰ Isn’t it amazing how one event in a day can strike you as so appalling it changes the way you feel? Glad I didn’t see it or hear it–and hope you feel better soon.

  4. Sharon

    At this time of year it is even more depressing. Sometimes think I am just s grumpy old person but I see bad parenting everywhere and parents who give kids a phone or ipad and then ignore them drives me nuts. Hope the day improves.


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