Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Ghost of School holidays Future

Louis and Zach fuelling up for the melee

If last week's fear was of future holidays spent shivering at the British seaside, then today's was far worse: a wet afternoon in London during the Easter holidays. I had, of course, forgotten it was still the school holidays when I'd suggested meeting Zach's Mum at the uber child-friendly Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank. Too child friendly as it turned out. 

After the boys had scoffed lunch - Louis decided Zach's peanut butter sarnies were far tastier than his own homemade butternut squash risotto, go figure - we adjourned to the back of the RFH, a massive concert hall famed among the "Sarf London" Mums crowd as the top meeting spot on the river. They - rightly - like it because kids can wreak havoc in the big ballroom at the back, which is stuffed full of beanbags, cushions and soft sofas. That's the upside. The downside is it was rammed full of hyperactive children using it as a substitute adventure playground because of the rain. 

Despite the chaos, fearless Louis was undeterred, desperate to join in the melee. Unfortunately the brats running round didn't think to look out for any children smaller than them and poor Louis got bundled by a boy old enough to know better as he charged across the floor. I, obviously, freaked out at the boy, who at least had the decency to apologise before running off. 

For me, shouting at the boy was an instinctive reaction: he hurt my baby, so I screamed at him. But I guess the incident begs the question of whether it's okay to tell off other people's children? I wasn't sure what was worse afterwards: Louis's screams or the glares I was sure I was getting from other parents for daring to shout at another child. Either way the afternoon was another hideous glimpse into my future life and the bedlam of over crowded tourist attractions during the school holidays. I also got The Fear about Louis growing up. What if he turns into the sort of little boy who rugby tackles 10-month-old babies to the ground?*

*For anyone who's worried, Louis seemed to be back to his normal menacing self by the time we got home but I'm obviously monitoring him closely.   

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