Every winter, I’m tempted to accost the parents of all small children not wearing hats. Christmas shopping, I’m transfixed by the sight of a bare-headed baby in its buggy. What is its mother thinking? Doesn’t she realise how much heat is lost through a baby’s head? And the younger the baby, the larger the head in proportion to the rest of its body. That poor baby will have a terrible headache by the time it gets home, and I bet its mother will be unable to work out why it’s crying.
I’m tempted to keep a supply of small hats in my coat pocket to slip on bareheaded babies when their mothers aren’t looking. I wonder how often I’d get away with it? It’s a bit like guerilla gardening: my intentions are of the best, but I don’t quite dare do it in public view. So I don’t. I restrain myself. I simply shake my own (behatted) head and move on.
But wouldn’t you think that new mothers would have got the message by now? Especially as expectant mothers are told to bring a bonnet to the delivery suite. These days, baby’s first photo usually incorporates a large hat. It looks like a tiny relic of the 1940s, when you’d be as likely to leave home without your knickers as go out without your hat. Minutes after my caesarean, my daughter was sporting a cheery pink and purple number. I’d knitted it especially for the occasion.
I wonder, is there a specific age when you start to feel a moral authority to comment on other people’s parenting skills? Um, yes, I think that would be middle age. Ahem. Better get back to my knitting.
But just to show I’m not beyond correction myself, here’s a link to the tale of a middle-aged lady who turned on me in Morrisons this time last year. Maybe it’s all part of the spirit of Christmas…. The Perils of the Supermarket