Monday, 4 June 2012

Stranger Danger

C loves transport.  We talk about trains; planes and automobiles - although we call them cars ;) - on virtually every trip out.  Or even if we are staying in.  We recite who has gone where and by which mode of transport.  So I thought it would be nice to take C on the bus.

Planes; trains; automobiles;
One fine, sunny day when the car seat had been washed and I couldn't be bothered to put it back in the car, I decided that it would be the perfect bus trip day.  We talked about catching the bus to the library and then took a leisurely walk down to the bus stop (I can't really go anything but leisurely with a tot and I refuse to rush her, but that's another post entirely).  I thought I had left plenty of time but as we turned the corner at the bottom of our 'hill' - yep you guessed - the bus was pulling in to the stop.  At this juncture I scooped C up (buses are rarer than hens teeth in our village and I was NOT going to miss it) and ran waving one handed to the driver to wait.

When we got there, me panting and flustered, C paid the driver the money and he gave her a ticket.  Then an elderly lady on the bus, who  presumably had heard me telling the driver that I hadn't caught a bus for a long time and that this bus trip was C's treat, pulled a chocolate bar out of her bag and gave it to C.  We had a great trip and it was only when we were talking about it later in the day that I became aware that C was under the firm impression that you pay the driver the money and then a lady gives you chocolate!  Bus companies I hope you are listening because that sounds like a GREAT idea.....

There have been a couple of reactions to my story where people have commented adversely on my allowing (and thereby encouraging) C to take sweets from strangers.  I politely disagree with them.  In fact I would be brazen enough to say that children are statistically more at risk from people they know than they are from complete strangers.  Of course I will do my damnedest to keep her safe and teach her common sense but I do not want C to grow up thinking evil is lurking around every corner and there is always someone out to get her. 

And anyway, it feels good to believe the best of people.  Maybe that's why we invited some people who we had never met - I say "never met" but I had read her blog so surely that must count for something - to house-sit for us for a long weekend.  Ok, I admit some people thought we were mad - but hey, it worked out great and as the old saying goes "strangers are just friends you haven't met yet".


  1. Well, I thought you were mad. And people thought *I* was mad, but sometimes you have to trust and listen to your instincts, yes? (and thankyou!)

    1. Thank you too - our instinctometers are obviously in synch ;) x

  2. Hello, I recently stumbled across your blog and felt the need to comment upon this story. I feel the media is forever portraying the world as a big bad place and all too often it is easy to get caught up in this notion and forget the pleasure in passing the time of day with kind 'strangers'.
    I have a little boy who is 2.5 years old and we started to wait outside and wave at the dustbin men, then it progressed to chit chatting and now they regularly bring him a packet of sweets - my sister is horrified by this, she thinks they must be weird to bring him sweets and I must be crazier still for accepting them. Why? Sadly we live in a world where the idea of actually being kind, polite and pleasent to people is alien.

    Just wanted to share that with you


    1. Thank you Mel, I don't think you're mad at all. I agree with you 100% and we will make the world a nicer place one child at a time :)