April 6th 2009 9.30 am, the sun is shining, the birds are tweeting, chattering and chirruping. Toddler boy is chomping at the bit to get out. Mummy feels exhausted from many many nights of disturbed sleep. The day starts well, a walk through the park, up to the town, admiring the Magnolia coming into bloom and the sunlight glinting through the trees. Things feel good and right about the world.
April 6th 3.30 pm, fast forward to Baby Theatre class at the Abbey Theatre, a small boy is being dragged across the floor by one arm screaming, whilst his mother is balancing a baby. The whole class of 20 mothers, one dad, one granny, one grandad and children are looking on, some in disgust, some in astonishment others in a ‘ Ive paid £4 for this spectacle’ kind of way. The mother contemplates throwing herself on the floor in a ‘Ive had enough please help me, take me away’ kind of fashion. She sits down and does her best to restrain the boy causing minimum disturbance, whilst conscientiously ignoring all the looks. The class leader, a cheery in a sort of Cbeebies way, person has a quiet word ‘please stop your child from playing with my puppets, I need them for the songs, there’s a Friday morning class with a less wide age range.’ To all mothers of boys aged one or under, this will be you, soon.