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What would Jamie Oliver say?

So I was on the Overground yesterday when I saw the saddest scene in the world. I was already really down that day, feeling very much alone in the city, which is probably partially why it struck me so hard.

Across the aisle from me was a mother with her her toddler son in a stroller. The mother was texting away on her blackberry with a big grin on her face. The boy started getting antsy and looking up at her wanting a bit of attention and affection. He very quietly called out to her "mummy" and she just ignored him. He looked around then back at her again. "mummy." When she pulled her eyes from her blackberry to look at her child, her expression went from a smile to a look of total disdain and irritation. The child held out his arms but she ignored him. Then when she looked back at the budle of joy in her palm, she went back to smiling and giggling slightly. The child got a bit more antsy in the chair he was strapped in but wasn't having a temper tantrum. He was sobbing silently. You could see his pain and need for love in his eyes. He started lightly pulling at the strap of her purse, calling for her. After sending a few more texts she rolled her eyes and put the phone down. She pulled her purse back on her lap, opened it and took out a little tuperware of sweets. She pulled out a milkyway bar, unwrapped it, handed it to the little boy and went back to texting. The kid took a couple of bites, quietly weeping to himself. He obviously didn't want candy, he just wanted some affection. But he ate his candy slowly and the mother carried on her text conversation with her absent friend or whoever. It broke my heart.

Now, ya'll know me. I hate kids. There's been plenty of kids on the tube or at the park who have behaved so badly I want to toss them into the Themes but this was nothing like that. This kid wasn't misbehaving, or having a temper tantrum. He wasn't trying to get sweets. He was simply quietly and respectfully cooing for some motherly affection and was bought off with sugar. This is how eating disorders happen, people! 

Yeah. Wanted to write that down. I tried, after I saw it happen, to write a poem about it on the tube. That's the part of the course we're in now Poetry. In doing so I remembered why I don't write poetry (i'm crap at it) but at least I gave it a shot. Since that poem will reach obscurity--I didn't even have time to finish it--I wanted to write the scene down and share. I guess the line "What would Jaime Oliver say" is a better Subject line for a blog than it is the opening line of a poem. (Perhaps another reason I shouldn't write poetry)


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