Just for the record, I hate those ‘rides’ at shopping centres that guzzle your money and the joy from the face of every parent whose child spots one from eight shops away.
“Have you got money?” Millie will now ask, hopefully, as I fumble in my purse for a gold coin while thinking about how I could own one of these machines with all the cash I’ve funnelled into these 90 second, spinning, rides of monotony.
Sometimes I don’t have cash, sometimes I tell her it’s broken, sometimes I just say ‘no’. Millie is ok with that, but will still want to sit in the fire truck/racing car/teacup/Wiggle car/ Peppa helicopter and pretend to steer.
Today at a major shopping centre Millie made a beeline for a spinning teacup and I watched her clamber on just as a couple sat their daughter in another teacup (there were three). I picked up the pace and followed her over – I was pushing Finn in the pram – and reached the ride just in time to grab a climbing Millie, turn her around and sit her on her bottom before she made a misstep and fell off the ride’s platform (#mumlife).
The couple had a $2 coin and gave it to their daughter, who popped it in the slot and pushed ‘start’.
The ride started.
“It’s your lucky day, Millie!” I said while waving to her as she did another circuit. “This little girl’s mummy had a coin!”. I didn’t have a coin. I was simply going to let Millie sit in the cup and pretend for a minute, before ushering her on.
The other little girl was waving to her parents as she went round and round.
The ride finished and Millie grinned at me. Her day was made.
Then the mother turned to me and said: “that was really rude of you”.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“That was really rude. You didn’t even ask us if your kid could go on the ride. You should have asked first.”
I was taken aback. “I’m sorry, I didn’t even think it would be an issue,” I said. “If I have a coin and my daughter is about to ride then I’m happy for other kids to get on too. I encourage it.”
“Well it was rude, you didn’t ask,” she snarled.
“I’m sorry, I would have had I realised it would be such a problem,” I said.
Getting down to specifics, Millie had hopped on at the same time as the other girl. And they didn’t have to put the money in while we were there.
Did Millie being on the ride affect the other girl’s enjoyment? No. Did I put Millie on there while the ride was going? No. Did it matter if Millie sat on there or not? No.
I was really puzzled. Just what was the problem?
It seems stupid to get wound up about such trivial things and I’m kind of annoyed I’m blogging about it. But was I in the wrong? Am I completely unaware of my apparent rudeness? Am I so out of touch that I didn’t know the unwritten rule that a child needs exclusive use of a ride if their parent pays?
Sheesh. First World problems indeed.
Seeing two happy little faces is surely better than one?
Anyway, Millie will no doubt find these rides again and if you happen to see me about to put my hard-earned into one of these machines and there’s space on board, please let your child have a ride. The more the merrier I say!
The world could do with more smiles and with a lot more adults who are happy, kind and willing to share with others. Our children are watching.
I’d love to know your thoughts, leave a comment below.