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Monday, September 27, 2010

Dear woman with two-year-old in smart Islington coffee shop

It’s obviously up to you how you raise your kids. You’re relaxed enough to let your tiny daughter wander towards the open door leading on to Upper Street. You’re obviously confident that if she does decide to totter outside towards the traffic you could bolt across the crowded café and intercept her in time. I don’t expect you to bother about people like me who look on anxiously.

If anything terrible happened you would be legally responsible. I can’t help thinking that I would be to some extent morally responsible for not making a scene and insisting that you keep her at your side.

But what’s more likely is that nothing terrible will happen. But at some stage it will nearly happen. If that puts the fear of God into you then it can only mean that you have never contemplated the possibility. And if you’ve never contemplated the possibility, what kind of parent are you?