I pulled his pants up. He roared at me. He bit down hard on his own chubby thumb. I tried to calm him. “Shh, shhh it’s ok buddy” I stretched my arms around him.
He flung his head back hitting me right on the bridge of my nose. My eyes watered as I let him go. He ran. I gave chase.
I could hear the ‘tutts’.
“No, no buddy” I tried to sound like I was in control. I obviously was not in control but neither was he. He cried as I picked him up.
I sat away from the ones I thought he could hurt. There was no vacant seat away from them all, which would have been the ideal place to sit.
I sat beside a big man, whom I thought could take a punch if my son were to continue with his meltdown.
“Shhh...shhh” I gently rocked him on my lap. I could feel my heartbeat stabilise as he grew quiet. “Shh...shhh” I whispered in his ear.
“Mammy here, mammys got you” I kissed his head. He sat still whimpering on my chest. “You’re a good boy, I love you” I reassured him.
“A good boy!” Her voice rang in my ears. She rolled her eyes as I looked at her.
I took a deep breath. I could feel him beginning to move. I had nothing to keep him calm.
My phone had died, we were here for over an hour already, and he had done all the waiting he could do.
“Leg me go” he roared as his legs lifted up high into the air. I let him go. He ran. I followed, apologising to those he shoved out of his way.
The receptionist shook her head.
“Will we be waiting much longer?” I looked at her while holding the sleeve of his jacket.
“A little while yet” she answered while a bemused look ran across her face.
I sighed, berating myself for not having my phone fully charged.
He was young.
“Excuse me” he tapped my shoulder while I struggled to hold my boy still.
“You can use my phone.” he handed me his phone.
I looked at him in shock.
“I’ve it loaded up already. I could hear it was the Simpsons he was enjoying” he smiled at me.
I wanted to cry.
I wanted to let go of my boy and give this young boy a huge hug.
I wanted to show my audience that this, this was true human compassion and coming from such a young boy.
My lip wobbled.
I swallowed hard. “Thank you” I whispered as I took his phone.
My son quickly calmed down as we both sat on the floor watching the Simpsons. He laughed and repeated “Homer” over and over.
I glanced around the room, trying to see who was with this young boy. My eyes fixed on his, I said as loud as I could for all to hear,
“Thank you so much, you’re a credit to yourself and your parents,” he blushed while I immediately spotted his mammy, sitting four seats to his left, beaming with pride.
I smiled at her too.