I desperately try to avoid any grumpy old man type entries on this blog, but I can’t resist this one. Today’s newspapers report that a large number of under fives are being excluded from nursery schools because they keep on thumping their peers or even their teachers. Too much TV too early is blamed, but so are overindulgent parents.
Indeed, i came across one of the latter on the Tube after I had ran the half marathon last month. Not surprisingly, I was feeling slightly knackered but all the seats on the train were taken. However, one was occupied by a two year old boy sitting next to his dad and I asked his father if he could pick the child and put him on his lap, so that I could sit down.
The father responded by asking the little blighter if he wanted to sit on his lap! Nah, he said, and started bawling. ‘He doesn’t want to move’ said Overindulgent Dad. ‘Euh’, I responded, ‘why don’t you just pick him up and put him on your lap?’ ‘It’s his first journey on a train’ said OD, ‘and now you have upset him.
We then got into a hilarious argument with me questioning the way he brought up his child and him getting up to offer his seat, which of course I declined. Then it got into ridiculous one upmanship when he asked me why I was so tired and after I told him, he responded ‘I have run 18 marathons and I usually walk home a couple of miles afterwards’. Eventually his neighbours got off, and I sat down with the little boy still in situ, being carefully groomed for future expulsion from his nursery.