We were walking home from school - daughter on the scooter and baby in a sling. A route we had taken hundreds of times. My daughter rushes ahead and stops by the road. Except this time, she doesn't stop.
I hear myself screaming for her to stop. She made it through to the other side. No car in sight. I'm not even sure at this point how I want to drive the point home to her the importance of road safety.
A lady on the other side of the road stops her. She bends down, hand on her shoulder, and gave her a stern telling off. My heart breaks at my precious being told off. I know she is sensitive and she won't forget it for a long time. My cheeks redden in shame as I failed at protecting my daughter. The lady looks up, and says: "sometimes children need a stern word from a stranger to really drive it home".
And I thanked her. And i thank her now.
So often we say it takes a village. Well, that lady brought the village. In a village, we don't just expect the smiles and the supportive words. We want others to help bring our kids up... safely.
This lady will always be "the scary lady" to my daughter, and I thank her for it.
I guess I'm writing this as I see a lot of "my child, my rules" and "how dare you tell my child off" posts in mum groups. I just wanted to add my voice in, saying please do tell my kids off if appropriate. In this case it could save her life one day.