Is it society that makes us paranoid? Or maybe it’s the media. Or maybe there’s just too many not so nice people in the world these days.
On a recent trip to the park with the kids there was a man sitting in one of those basket swings that was slightly away from the rest of the play equipment where Sophie and her little friend were playing. My friend made mention of him and how he kept looking over towards the kids.
My immediate thought was that he was dodgy and we kept an extra close eye on the girls. After he made his way away from the park we joked about being paranoid mum’s, but really, you just don’t know.
Today I was at Big W in the kids clothes section when a lady, probably in her late 30’s appeared around the corner of an aisle and promptly asked me, ‘I don’t know whether to get him a size 0 or 1?’ I smiled and continued to try and get Sophie to try a hat on and bribe her with a milkshake. The lady came closer holding an outfit, telling me how cute it was and heard me asking Sophie to please try a hat on for preschool next year.
She exclaimed ‘Wow’ and asked Sophie where she was going to preschool. Thank god I thought that she can’t answer. Once again I just smiled, conscious not to get into a conversation. Then she turned her attention to Ben. My mind starts racing that any minute she was going to reach into the trolley grab Ben’s capsule and take off with him like one of those crazy women desperate for a child out of a bad daytime movie. Thankfully Sophie asked very loudly for a milkshake and we made a quick exit.
Then this afternoon I went to Medicare, which is now combined with the Centrelink office. As I was walking along the footpath a parking inspector was writing out a ticket when a man flew out of Centrelink/Medicare and started abusing the parking lady, calling her every name imaginable and blaming Centrelink as to why he hadn’t bought a ticket. He was holding a baby girl probably about 6 months old, while his partner and little boy, probably about 3 looked on.
I quickly made my way into the Medicare office only to have him follow and begin abusing Centrelink staff. Between the swearing, I heard something about after school care and why weren’t they paying for it. A threat of calling the cops only made him worse.
My mind starts racing, what if he’s got a knife or worse a gun. I’m so thankful I didn’t have the kids with me and that I’d left them at home with my mum.
The man at the park was probably just filling in some time and the basket swing does look awful comfy.
The woman in Big W was probably just lonely and wanted a chat.
The man in Centrelink while crazy, probably didn’t have a knife or a gun and probably wasn’t about to take us all hostage.
All just crazy thoughts of every parents worst nightmares dreamt up in my sleep deprived foggy mummy head.
And then I think of Daniel Morcombe and think, when it comes to your kids, you just can’t be too careful.
So spare a thought for the Morcombe’s as they finally lay their son to rest tomorrow. And go and hug your kids just that little bit tighter.