Child’s Play


I was having lunch the other day with a good friend of mine - Sas. We sat outside on  hippy-style benches, soaking up some good doses of sunshine while we engaged in relentless chit-chat. As I cradled my fresh mint tea, anticipating the juicy flavours of my organic grilled sandwich, she started telling me about an incident that occurred at her work; the Dutch equivalent of Child Protection Services, where she is  a child psychologist. Apparently, the day in question was a hot one, so the windows were open to provide some natural air-co., but the relief was short-lived as a child could be heard screaming in the shopping centre down below. The crying produced enough decibels to force my friend and two other colleagues to take a look. They caught sight of a fraught teenage mum and an infant of around three years old, some distance away from her mother. The hysterical child’s arms flailed in the air as foam bubbled up around her mouth. She wouldn’t have looked out of place on the set of The Exorcist, except that this child wasn’t possessed by an exotic demon, she just was one.                  


Sas approached the harassed mother and asked her if there was anything she could do to help. She gave Sas a strange look and asked who she was and why she and her colleagues were standing there. My friend was more than aware of not playing the interfering know-all so she just told the mother that they worked above the shops and had heard the commotion. The infuriated teenager explained that her child wanted to do her own thing and not listen to her. It didn’t take the brain of Einstein to figure out that that was indeed the crux of the problem. Then suddenly and without due warning, the mother started shrieking at her fiendish child, in true fishwife fashion ; “If you don’t do as I say, I’ll drop you off at the Child Protection agency, see if I care!” This ironic caterwauling just served as oil on the fire, resulting in a paroxysm of defiance beyond anything Sas had witnessed to date. The girl was turning blue by this point and was fast looking like ‘grouchy smurf’ on a killing spree.  


My friend decided to end the malevolence once and for all. She approached the little girl and tried to make contact with her. This was apparently no mean task, even for a professional child psychologist; diffusing a bomb would have been easier. After some soothing words and lots of smiles, the girl finally surrendered. She let Sas hold her hand while mum was quite a distance ahead. She coaxed her into following her mummy, which she did though still very reluctantly, dragging her cloven hooves behind her. What a character, I thought to myself. Having heard the story, I looked at Sas and saw her in a whole new light. She was a hero. She had outwitted a demonic, self-destructing, shape shifter smurf and lived to tell the tale. Full of admiration for her bravery, I exclaimed, “You’re Super Sas, all you need now is a cape with SS on the back.”. After a moment’s pause she said; “No, I don’t think so Karen!