We were minding our own business today, Grace and me, at a play date with a hottie some months her junior. Ehtan and Grace played quietly, toddling around the local indoor soft play, tugging at Aunty Sheli's trousers when they wanted a run on the slide. It's keeping her fitter than Zumba. Anyway, there we were, merrily building a tower of padded bricks when THUD, Grace hits the floor face down pushed by a little boy in a white vest.
Dusting her off, we start to re-build the tower. The boy body slams into it, bricks flying in all directions. Miffed, Grace decides she wants to go on the seesaw. The boy dives in front of Grace and knocks her to the floor. He's tagged... BULLY.
The Bully carries on wreaking havoc. He wrestles Ethan to the floor and gets him in a headlock. A glare from Ethan's Mum does nothing to abate the intimidation and it takes until Aunty Sheli springs to her feet garbling in her Scottish tongue for the little blighter to release his grip and Ethan to suck some air into his oxygen starved lungs.
The Bully is unfazed. Grace is on her way to give an affectionate kiss to another toddler balancing on the netting. The Bully charges like a rhino knocking the little boy backwards and banging his head on the way down. Grace is confused and looks to me for reassurance. Her bottom lip quivers. I've had enough.
The Bully's mother is nowhere to be seen. Probably having a mocha latte with her iphone 4 glued to her shellac nails while she 'connects' on facebook or twitter maybe. Ignorance is bliss. Grace and me up sticks and head home. She's tired and I'm fed up with having to manage the health and safety of a bunch of under two's while lady muck couldn't give a toss what he little sod gets up to.
It strikes me as less than ironic that there is a noticeboard opposite the exit advertising self-defense classes for children to help them stand up to bullies. It seems The Bully comes here often.