Pick ‘n Pay … Larry … Stikeez … Super Animal Cards …. and my changing wine purchasing habits ….

I had some less than complementary things to say last time about Larry from Pick ‘n Pay and his band of underlings who introduced the Stikeez concept into their stores.

I recall I had suggested that “I hope you get a case of chlamydia – you and your entire team.  And it is drug resistant.”

It was based on my own selfish need to walk around Pick ‘n Pay with my earphones in.  Getting what ever I need.  With no need to interact with anyone.  With no one demanding something from me.

I would go home and be grateful for my 15 minutes of “me time.”

I do realise it is a sad state of affairs when your “me time” is you shopping at a retailer.  Motherhood starts with you having high ideals, and then degenerates into being happy that you can pee alone.  True story.

My kids do not want to come shopping with me – I took it as a 15 – 45 minute free “ME” time moment.

For a parent with three children, I have come to put a high value on time to-be-by-myself-without-having-to-wipe-someone’s-bum-or-to-tell-a-sibling-to-stop-hitting-the-other-sibling-with-a-empty-bottle.

I rate that time highly.  And I get agitated when someone is about to encroach on that time.

Larry and his Stikeez came along and my shopping experience went to hell in a hand-basket.

I was subjected to queues with children whining and strained parents wondering if they should just buy 15 R10.00 items so they can get a Stikeez.  So that maybe.  Just maybe.  They can have a break from their whiny off-spring for just a few moments.  Peace, sweet peace.

Moms and dads with two Stikeez and three children were standing in Pick ‘n Pay trying to decide which was their least favourite child for the day.

One Stikeez, three children is just not an equation that works.  Even with standard grade mathematics.

Kids were crying and moaning.  You give them a Stikeez.  They are happy and joyous.  It lasts for 0.25 seconds.  The kid opens the bag and it is the one they have already.  Then the world ends.

They are whingeing again to their parents to get them another Stikeez.  Parents are staring at cashiers thinking “please save me ….. for the love of all things good ….. save me..”

And the Pick ‘n Pay cashier places a protective hand over the Stikeez box.  Clearly been trained on how quickly this situation can turn violent.  And she has been coached to protect the Stikeez at all costs.  All.  Costs.

stikeez

It was all a very unpleasant time for many of us.

I think as a nation of parents with young kids, we came together in our loathing for the fact that Pick ‘n Pay was getting us to “bribe” our children, for their silence.  At R150.00 a pop.

It’s a bit like gambling.

I just have to spend R150.00 and I will get 5 minutes of Johnny being happy. I will be the best parent in the world. Granted for only 5 minutes, but it will be the best 5 minutes of my life!!

Shit, not another penguin. Johnny has that one, and is now going full siren sound and blowing bubbles out of his nose as he screams for another Stikeez.  

Oh fuck it, I am this far in.  Here is another R150.00 — let’s see what I get ….. ah fek, another fecking penguin!!  What fresh hell is this?

People without children are looking on in horror and thinking, you know I  don’t think I am quite ready to come off birth control just yet.  “Honey I think you need to get some condoms …..”

This year Pick ‘n Pay has launched the Super Animals Card Campaign.

wildanimals

I will confess I braced myself, and prepared to run away from home, or change my retailer until this shit was over.

I still had vivid memories of the last campaign.

It was like Checkers and Spar were on to it.  Collectively deciding that “fek you parents” and  each released their own spend-R150.00-and-we-will-give-you-shit-your-kid-wants-and-will-whine-itself-into-a-stupor-to-beg-you-to-get-another Campaign.

I decided to pull my jacket on tighter against this storm, and just push through.  I was looking braver than I was feeling.

As a rule I do not shop with the kids – they are either at home or I have locked them in the car with no windows open (or you can hear their moaning) – either way, they are not with me.

I paid for my items and the cashier gave me Super Animal Cards.

I thought …. seriously, are my kids really going to get all excited about this?  {using an inside voice that drips of disdain}

It appears that Pick ‘n Pay knows my kids better than I do.

My 14 years old feels that unless it’s Pokémon it is a total waste of time.  So the campaign was lost on him.

The girls however were in hook, line and sinker!!

Then the whinging began.  It started with questions and has moved to full-scale instructions.

Did you go to Pick ‘n Pay today?

Have you got cards on you?

Go buy sweets and get cards from Pick ‘n Pay. <7 year old>

7 year old barely acknowledges me unless I have a Pick ‘n Pay bag – then she is in full frisk-me mode.  I have stopped being mom I have become “do you have any Animal cards?”

The cards are actually nice — the girls are learning names of animals they probably would never have known otherwise.  The little pop up facts on the cards are also quite nicely done.

It is however, similar to Stikeez, in the constant demand for more, no matter how much they have it remains relentless.

Re. Fucking. Lent.  Less.

It’s given me insight into what living with a crack addict must be like.

The overwhelming urge at Pick ‘n Pay to spend at least R300.00 so I can get two cards.  Two kids = two cards.

When  all I want is this one bottle of wine at R39.00.  Ah well, 8 bottles it is then.  That is the sort of lengths I am willing to go to make my children happy.  That people is parenting!!

The girls have got the book, the little box thing, the sound thing.  All of it.  It really does keep them busy for lengths of time.

I am not that person who is going to set up a meet with other moms/dads/psychopaths to swap my kids cards out so they can have the full set.

Yeah, that seems like way too much commitment to this project.

Being a shitty parent, with little in the way of things which strike the fear of Gd into my children, I have realised that nothing ends an argument quicker than threatening to take a few Super Animals cards away.

It wins hands down at the moment as the thing, most likely, to stop them beating the crap out of each other.

It ends the high-pitched glass-shattering screaming that only two girls can do.

It acts as a very convenient leverage to encourage kids to clean up their rooms and hang up the fecking wet towels which are lying on the goddamn floor.

I no longer have to stand there beseeching them.

I now give clear instructions <but in a threatening tone> “these towels better be hung up, PROPERLY, in the next 15 seconds or I am taking a Super Animal Card from each of your collections.  And you, 14 year old, will be losing wi-fi!!!  {he does not give a toss about the cards, but wi-fi is like oxygen to him}

Thanks Larry at Pick ‘n Pay – you have definitely pushed up my wine purchasing habits.  Not that it needed much in the way of motivation, but there you are.

I trust you and your team are all chlamydia free — wishing you all the best!

 

Post related to this topic:  https://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/larry-at-a-pick-n-pay-and-my-wishes-around-a-venereal-disease/

 

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Larry at Pick ‘n Pay and my wishes around a venereal disease

stickies

Pick ‘n Pay sat around and thought to themselves, “what could make shopping with kids at our store more painful for parents?” and one bright spark put up his hand and said “yes, let’s make Stikeez!”

Initially the brain storming crew could not understand what the pull of making parents spend R150.00 at their stores to get a “toy” which probably cost less than 8 cents to manufacture would do to the children and the parents.

What is the appeal here —– I mean really.

People sat around and said it was a shit idea and would not work.

It was an 8 cents crap toy for goodness sake – you could pop over to McDonalds and get a semi decent toy for less than R5.00 with a kids meal, or if you were feeling thrifty and thought fuck the kids meal, you could just buy the toy.

The group fought a bit and eventually everyone just gave up and left it to Larry and his team to introduce these ridiculous “Stikeez” toys.  No one believed that the toys would work.

But most of the team thought Larry was a bit of a wanker anyway and really just wanted the meeting to end early, so they could go and get a few beers, without Larry and his zany ideas.

Larry spear headed the programme.

In short you purchase R150.00 at Pick ‘n Pay and the till operator throws one of the toys into your packet of purchases.  You spend R450.00 and you get three toys.

I have three children – try the fuck and come home with two.  I dare you!!!

Larry it appears is some sort of a genius – possibly an idiot savante – or just a regular idiot I need to beat with the long end of my desk lamp.

Larry has basically fucked up shopping for me – entirely.

I used to view grocery shopping as a 45 – 90 minute exercise of getting away from my kids.

I would cruise the aisles with my earpiece in, listening to what ever music I liked at a volume called “deafening” and enjoy the few moments I had to myself at Pick ‘n Pay. Merrily shopping for what ever was on my shopping list.

Not a care in the world, if you take away the little issue about whether I will be able to pay for all of this shit when I got to the end – that besides.

In some cases just idly going along so that I could avoid three children screaming at me.

It was the few moments of peace and respite I could enjoy in my day.

I would get home and actually no one gave a shit that I got home. With shopping. I had to beg and plead, and sometimes mildly threaten to get my kids to help unload the car.

Larry has forever fucked that up for me.  Royally,

I get home now.  Even from the local biltong store, and they are on me like lice.  Begging, pleading, searching and basically frisking me for Stikeez.

It was sort of cute for the first two or three days, now it is annoying.

Last night my youngest burst into tears as she unwrapped a Stikeez (which I had to buy R150.00 of crap to get) and it was not the little doggie she wanted.

Ungrateful little bitch.  She has 14 Stikeez.  Quick maths. 14 x R150.00 = fuck loads of money.

She seriously burst into tears.

I seriously lost the last shred of my shit on this particular subject.

I called her back and told her that if she ever EVER cried, moaned, lamented, beseeches me about Stikeez again, I was going to take them all and toss them out the window whilst driving on the N1 at 120km/h.

I do not threaten …. I do.

You only have to throw a cake out of a window ONCE on the N1 before the kids fully understand not to fuck with you when you are driving.

And a threat has a real outcome.

ONE chocolate cake out of your car window at full speed to teaches everyone a valuable lesson about screaming and whining about chocolate cake and and and ……… the result is a chocolate cake speeding past you travelling in the opposite direction to before it connects the tar of the national highway.

After that usually dead silence in the car.  It’s a powerful image.

She looked at me and burst into tears and said “I LOVE JORDAN…”

Side bar note:  Jordan is my ex-husband’s girlfriend who died tragically and suddenly the week before last.   It is still a very raw pain for everyone involved, and several people are still walking around dazed and confused trying to adjust to the situation. Everyone in our family has been shaken by it.  None of this is in anyway related to Stikeez

My daughter throwing a bitch fit over Stikeez and then tying this to a tragic and rather fresh death was a bit more than I could take for one evening.

I called/yanked her over and made it clear that as much as I understood she loved and missed Jordan, making her issues about “Stikeez” connected to Jordan’s death was somewhat unfair to Jordan, and further pushed my issues around “Stikeez.”

I think the only thing to be said here is —- well played Larry at Pick ‘n Pay and your team for introducing what can only be described as the most ridiculous and most coveted items for children.  Well played. {introduces slow clap}

I hope you get a case of chlamydia – you and your entire team.  And it is drug resistant.

When Kotex Pads and Blitz looked like a match made in heaven ……

I popped into Pick ‘n Pay Plattekloof Center recently, and wandered down the “outdoor” aisle, the one that looks very manly.  And makes you want to go home and start a fire.  Not necessarily in your fire place.

At the end of the aisle was the usual selection of Blitz/Fire Lighters, I can’t even remember what I was looking for to make me wander down this end of the store.

Maybe the shock of seeing such an interesting product juxtaposition rewired my brain and made for forget.  Its all possible.

I saw what can only be described as an “interesting” product placement  – or a “brilliant” product placement by Kotex pads.

I really like advertising/marketing that marries two unrelated ideas and makes them so brilliant that from that point on wards cannot “not” associate the two.

Mentos and Coca-Cola for instance.

Wine and …. more wine.

They pack so much wine in one aisle.  And so many varieties, sometimes you cannot just buy one, because then you look at the other bottle on the shelf and feel dreadfully sorry for it, so you buy it too and so it the chain of events continues until you start to make your way to an AA meeting.

Tip:  I do think you should place wine glasses in between the wine bottles – a “buy 6 of these bottles”, and get 6 lovely wine glasses at a discount or something.  I personally adore wine glasses.  They are second to books in my impulse purchase list.

Kotex, I put it to you — I think this might be an unbelievable placement strategy and I, for one, am hanging on with a large glass of wine, some popcorn, dying to hear the thinking here.

Or is it going to be a sad and rather painful “performance appraisal” meeting with one of your store marketers.

I really do hope it is the former.

{over to you Kotex Pads……}

1506_kotex_pads

{I took the photograph, hence the slightly grim quality — there is no photoshopping going on here.}

Pick ‘n Pay’s response to the alleged abduction at a Pick ‘n Pay store

Pick n Pay’s first priority is always for our customers and their safety, and we take all incidents very seriously. Thankfully the child is safe and was already back with her mother when our store staff were first alerted.

We have cooperatedfully with the police, including providing a detailed statement and sharing our CCTV footage.

We have also met the mother again since the incident to express our sympathy and support, and explain the actions we have taken.

Our understanding is that, having investigated the evidence including our CCTV footage, the police believe that this was not an attempt at kidnap and that there is no case for taking further action.

There have been many reactions to the incident at the Pick ‘n Pay Capricorn Park Muizenberg.  Some a bit alarming, some a bit concerning about the sanity in the blog-o-sphere.

I think the key issue here is that the issue is not that the specific retailer is to blame.  It is a “sense/feeling” that the incident was not handled well, and more importantly this could have happened to any of us.

You.  Me.  Anyone.

I am sure that if this had occurred in another retailer they may have dealt with it in the equally fumbling, less than ideal manner, but the reality is we will never know.  This happened, and this store dealt with it this way.

I am glad that Margo has brought this to attention – not to shame Pick ‘n Pay but to remind us how quickly things go wrong, even when you are picking lettuce up at your local retailer.

I sincerely hope that we have all learnt something from this incident.

I have three kids, and the reality is when I am shopping I cannot actually hold on to all of them, nor hold their hands no  matter how goof my best intentions are.

If you have shopped with children you will understand what I mean.

I often shop with my two youngest, and as much as I want to tell you I hold their hands the entire time.   I need to queue to purchase items and am distracted as I order at the delicatessen or the bakery.  And again cannot look at my kids as the assistant hands over the order.

I have to put groceries and kids in the car – and then I need to do something with the trolley – how do you expect me to keep all of these within eye sight?

It just is not possible.  No matter how vigilant you are.

I do not expect retailers to be responsible for my kids – but I do expect them to have a procedure in place when something occurs and listen to me if something has happened to my child.

No they are not the police.  But listen to me if I am indicating a problem, and take the time and energy to call the police so that they in turn can interview the suspects, and be able to handle the situation on the spot.

I sneaked in to a drive-in movie when I was about 11. They called the police.  I think the entry cost was R1.50.  The police came out and scared the shit out of me.

Point being, sure it is not your responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone on the planet, but if there is something that smells a bit iffy call the police, or some form of authority and allow the time to investigate, take statements – then step back.

When my kid were smaller and in the habit of throwing almighty thrombies at retail stores, I would leave them thrashing and screaming and just walk away – I would remain in ear shot so I could still hear them losing their shit in the aisle, I just would move on.

Clearly I would rethink that as a course of action.

Margo I hope you will heal from this – I cannot imagine nightmares you have.

I “almost” slammed my child’s hand in the car door when he was an infant. I didn’t.  I still think about it nearly every day and imagine the damage it could have caused.  My infant is now a 12 year old man-boy.  I still think about that day when ever he gets into my car and I close the car door.

Moms/parents worry.  Moms freak out if kids are out of their line of sight.

I hope we all have taken something positive from this experience.

Except Leon and Chuck. They have been total dicks!!!

{I think it is fine to be total dicks, but then be a dick who has no problem exposing who you are, and where we can contact you.  Be a man use your this-is-me-and-I-stand-by-my-statements-made-on-line.  Hiding behind a shite email address makes you double the dick — and a total shit head at the same time — other wise, good luck with that}

Original post and comments can be read at:  https://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/abducting-babies-in-trolleys-at-pick-n-pay/

The one where Georgia got slapped through the face ….

I heard from someone todaywho I have not spoken to in years – it appears Reluctant Mom has a farther reach than I realised,who would have known?

Certainly not me.

Anyway, for some reason this post jumped into my head – it is not quite the trolley snatching incident of earlier, but I think it is a good example of how quickly things can happen, even when you are standing RIGHT THERE.

I originally published this post in May 2010, and I think there are some key similarities between this and what occurred to Margo. If you squint your eyes and sort of look at it for a while.

 

It’ll knock your socks off …

On Saturday afternoon I went off to Pick ‘n Pay to do some grocery shopping – we  had friends coming over to watch the game and then stay for dinner, so I needed to get quite a lot of things and it was easier if I went without the entire family.

I left Isabelle and Connor home with Kennith, and Georgia came along with me to the shop.

We moved around the store and got what we needed.  While standing in the queue at the check out, I stepped away from my trolley to look at the soup display and was trying to decide whether we could include a soup course.

Retails often do displays right at the front of the stores, so you tend to impulse shop – appeals to the kind of shopper I am.

I was standing there with a liter of Minestrone in a bag, wondering could I eat a liter of Minestrone in a bag?  Would my friends eat a liter of Minestrone in a bag?

I was using my six-sets-of-eyes-that-mother’s-have to watch the trolley, Georgia who was standing next to me, and also to glance at people walking past.  I kept my one hand on her to ensure she was not wandering off as the store was really busy.

This woman walked past – long dark hair, maybe late thirties, and her son trailed behind her – about a metre gap between them.  He had on a dark tracksuit pants, takkies and a t-shirt – quite a solid built guy, I estimate about 11 – 14 years, but can’t be sure, as I do not know many kids that age.

It’s strange that I saw him, as I did not really notice him as my eyes were moving from trolley, to Minestrone, to the contents of the Minestrone, to Georgia, to generally public and back again …  all while wondering if I would use croutons and cheese with the soup and what bowls I would use, and whether I had enough.

But I did see him.

Then I saw him unfurl his hand, which I noted was quite a large hand.

Then in that moment I saw him open his hand.

He pulled his hand back while he was moving past her, and slapped Georgia through the face.  So hard that she lifted off the ground and flew into the vegetable/soup display.

It took me a few moments to register what the hell had happened.   It was beyond surreal.

I was trying to pick Georgia up at the same time emit some sound out of my mouth that possibly showed my indignation and horror at what had just occurred, as the boy and his mother continued walking like nothing had occurred.

I picked Georgia up who was now crying hysterically – as you would be when slapped senseless while perusing soup at the local Pick ‘n Pay.  I managed to shriek loud enough for the mom of the boy to turn around and look at me – and I said “your son just slapped my daughter through the face!”

Her face looked like I had slapped it.  She stared at her son and quickly started saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry….” to me.

I glared at her son who was turned away from me.  I was now ready to go over and beat the crap out of this little tosser right there in the veggie aisle of Pick ‘n Pay.

He turned to face me – while walking away from me – and I realized with sinking horror that he had Down Syndrome features.  That is where it got awkward, and my anger turned to shame and embarrassment.  I really did not know what to do.

Georgia was screaming and crying – I have her up on my hip, and I am staring at this situation and every part of me just wishes we all were not here right now.

So what happened?

The mother said sorry – I mouthed it was fine.  She kept moving away from me, and did not actually stop and walk back to me and apologise.   Her son carried on walking behind her not changing pace.

Georgia was hysterical, I had to tell her “it’s okay, it’s okay, it was an accident…” – yes, I realise it was not an accident, but what was I going to say?

I could have gone with …

That boy has a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome, and for reasons I can’t explain decided to give you a flattie in the middle of Pick ‘n Pay – and me your protecting mother, stood there like a total freak and did nothing to protect you or to stop it happening.

I also felt embarrassed that I was about to rant at a child that clearly had a disability, and felt totally powerless that this had happened and I did nothing to prevent it or to remedy the situation. ”

Instead I comforted her, paid for my groceries and packed her in the car.

I felt that we had been assaulted in full view of a store full of people, and no one (not one) stepped forward to assist me or my daughter.  I realized that the boy could have pulled out a knife and slashed her, and I would have been equally powerless to prevent it.

I really felt traumatized and a bit violated that some stranger had walked up and assaulted my child while I was standing there and I did nothing, and afterwards it was me who felt bad for what had happened.

Georgia was upset afterwards for a few hours, but seemed most upset that the boy did not come and say sorry to her himself  (clearly they teach the power of sorry at her school).

I really do not have a conclusion on what happened.

I really felt totally powerless and immensely angry.  I wish I had reacted differently to the mother, but what would I have said? What could I have done to make it better for me and Georgia, without going totally berserk in the veggie aisle?

It also made me realise how totally vulnerable we and our kids are when we take them out into public.  That some stupid or misguided person could do anything to our child in the blink of an eye, and even with us standing there, we would not be able to foresee it or stop it.  {this is how it relates to what happened to Margo ….. alarming right?}

https://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/it%E2%80%99ll-knock-your-socks-off-%E2%80%A6/

Abducting babies in trolleys at Pick ‘n Pay …..

I heard this mom speaking to John Maytham today on Cape Talk.  It was one of those conversations that makes your blood run cold.

Here is the post Margo13 put on Hellopeter:

I had the most horrific experience in Pick N Pay Capricorn Park Muizenberg yesterday, I was in the vegetable isle I turned around to pick up a lettuce and when I turned back my 4 year old daughter was gone alone with trolley .
I froze and became hysterical I then saw the 2 guys with my trolley , they told her to keep quiet and sped off with her into another isle .

I called security who let the guy go saying they were joking I called manager of Pick n Pay Yusuf who was very abrupt and told me they had mistaken my trolley with my daughter in for theirs

I do not except this I am emotionally wrecked and my daughter scared I went to Muizenberg Police Station and tried to lay a charge only to be told that they did not get away with my daughter so no case

In my view there was intention.

So she was in the supermarket, her young daughter was in the trolley, in the front fold down section – she took 5 steps from the trolley to pick up a piece of merchandise, turned around and the trolley with her child was gone.

GONE.

Two men had taken the trolley and had made their way to an aisle two aisles away, where they were trying to get her daughter out of the trolley.

The woman found them, questioned them, did not believe they had taken the wrong trolley – and called security.  She was trying to apprehend two guys, and at the same time calm her child down who was clearly upset.

The store felt they could not hold the men, as the child had not been abducted, and thus there was no crime.  And then let them leave.  The store.

Clearly there was a crime in progress, and fortunately due to the quick acting mom she managed to find the men, her child and prevent them taking her child out of the store.

Can you imagine how this day could have turned out?

Margo13 had said that after she got her daughter back, her daughter had told her that the men had told her to be quiet, and that this was their secret.

Can you imagine how traumatising this must be to that mom?  To any mom.

I regularly take my kids with me, in the same trolley, in the same position – the nature of grocery shopping is you take a few steps away to grab something, then step back – one assumes your bag will be stolen, not your trolley with your child.

I would like to find how Pick ‘n Pay is going to handle this.

Surely the men should have been “asked” to accompany security to the manager’s office so they could take some information, and contact the police who in turn could speak to all parties and establish the details before letting them go.

Surely.

Pick ‘n Pay can detain someone who they suspect of stealing until the police arrive.  One would think they can detain a suspect or two who are suspected of attempting to abduct a four year old child.

Surely?  Surely!

If you have heard anything more about this incident and know what is happening, please share.

The lesson : Your child is not safe anywhere.  That should feed nicely into all our paranoia.

It’ll knock your socks off …

On Saturday afternoon I went off to Pick ‘n Pay to do some grocery shopping – we  had friends coming over to watch the game and then stay for dinner, so I needed to get quite a lot of things and it was easier if I went without the entire family.

I left Isabelle and Connor home with Kennith, and Georgia came along with me to the shop.

We moved around the store and got what we needed.  While standing in the queue at the check out, I stepped away from my trolley to look at the soup display and was trying to decide whether we could include a soup course.

Retails often do displays right at the front of the stores, so you tend to impulse shop – appeals to the kind of shopper I am.

I was standing there with a liter of Minestrone in a bag, wondering could I eat a liter of Minestrone in a bag?  Would my friends eat a liter of Minestrone in a bag?

I was using my six-sets-of-eyes-that-mother’s-have to watch the trolley, Georgia who was standing next to me, and also to glance at people walking past.  I kept my one hand on her to ensure she was not wandering off as the store was really busy.

This woman walked past – long dark hair, maybe late thirties, and her son trailed behind her – about a metre gap between them.  He had on a dark tracksuit pants, takkies and a t-shirt – quite a solid built guy, I estimate about 11 – 14 years, but can’t be sure, as I do not know many kids that age.

It’s strange that I saw him, as I did not really notice him as my eyes were moving from trolley, to Minestrone, to the contents of the Minestrone, to Georgia, to generally public and back again …  all while wondering if I would use croutons and cheese with the soup and what bowls I would use, and whether I had enough.

But I did see him.

Then I saw him unfurl his hand, which I noted was quite a large hand.  Then in that moment I saw him open his hand.  He pulled his hand back while he was moving past her, and slapped Georgia through the face.  So hard that she lifted off the ground and flew into the vegetable/soup display.

It took me a few moments to register what the hell had happened.   It was beyond surreal.

I was trying to pick Georgia up at the same time emit some sound out of my mouth that possibly showed my indignation and horror at what had just occurred, as the boy and his mother continued walking like nothing had occurred.

I picked Georgia up who was now crying hysterically – as you would be when slapped senseless while perusing soup at the local Pick ‘n Pay.  I managed to shriek loud enough for the mom of the boy to turn around and look at me – and I said “your son just slapped my daughter through the face!”

Her face looked like I had slapped it.  She stared at her son and quickly started saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry….” to me.

I glared at her son who was turned away from me.  I was now ready to go over and beat the crap out of this little tosser right there in the veggie aisle of Pick ‘n Pay.

He turned to face me – while walking away from me – and I realized with sinking horror that he had Down Syndrome features.  That is where it got awkward, and my anger turned to shame and embarrassment.  I really did not know what to do.

Georgia was screaming and crying – I have her up on my hip, and I am staring at this situation and every part of me just wishes we all were not here right now.

So what happened?

The mother said sorry – I mouthed it was fine.  She kept moving away from me, and did not actually stop and walk back to me and apologise.   Her son carried on walking behind her not changing pace.

Georgia was hysterical, I had to tell her “it’s okay, it’s okay, it was an accident…” – yes, I realise it was not an accident, but what was I going to say?

I could have gone with …

That boy has a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome, and for reasons I can’t explain decided to give you a flattie in the middle of Pick ‘n Pay – and me your protecting mother, stood there like a total freak and did nothing to protect you or to stop it happening.

I also felt embarrassed that I was about to rant at a child that clearly had a disability, and felt totally powerless that this had happened and I did nothing to prevent it or to remedy the situation. ”

Instead I comforted her, paid for my groceries and packed her in the car.

I felt that we had been assaulted in full view of a store full of people, and no one (not one) stepped forward to assist me or my daughter.  I realized that the boy could have pulled out a knife and slashed her, and I would have been equally powerless to prevent it.

I really felt traumatized and a bit violated that some stranger had walked up and assaulted my child while I was standing there and I did nothing, and afterwards it was me who felt bad for what had happened.

Georgia was upset afterwards for a few hours, but seemed most upset that the boy did not come and say sorry to her himself  (clearly they teach the power of sorry at her school).

I really do not have a conclusion on what happened.

I really felt totally powerless and immensely angry.  I wish I had reacted differently to the mother, but what would I have said? What could I have done to make it better for me and Georgia, without going totally beserk in the veggie aisle?

It also made me realise how totally vulnerable we and our kids are when we take them out into public.  That some stupid or misguided person could do anything to our child in the blink of an eye, and even with us standing there, we would not be able to foresee it or stop it.