I am a four-legged, primarily feline friend. I sleep in the master bedroom and live off scraps on the floor of my owners’ apartment. My favorite toy is that pine cone over there–I love running around with it!
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When I read about Billie Faiers’ kid getting slapped, my wrath flared up again (Picture: Instagram)
‘Can I tell you anything, Mummy?’ I don’t want to cause any problems.’
After my daughter said this to me while standing next to her elder sister, my heart started to rush at a hundred miles per hour.
The girls, who were four and seven years old at the time, seemed solemn.
‘Yes of course, please tell me what it is,’ I responded to them, trying to calm my anxiety as ideas rushed through my mind.
Then they delivered the bombshell: one of their friends’ dads had hit my youngest daughter.
This occurred a few years ago, but when I heard about Billie Faiers’ three-year-old boy getting hit by a stranger on a plane, it reawakened my indignation.
When I scheduled a playdate for my girls with another mother from their school while I was undergoing cancer treatment, I had no clue what would happen.
The mother and I were friends, and we had previously scheduled a number of playdates, ostensibly so the kids could have fun, but primarily, I confess, so we could have a cup of tea and a chin wag.
So, when a friend offered to watch both of my girls for a few of hours while I went to the hospital, I leaped at the opportunity, knowing they’d be happy spending time with their friends and not worrying about Mummy.
I was comforted that my daughters were in good hands as I handed them off and told them I loved them and wished them a good time, not realizing how incorrect I was.
When they were abnormally quiet after I picked them up, I assumed it was due to exhaustion.
I enquired whether they had a good time, and was astonished when they said, ‘Yes, Mummy, but their Daddy is a dreadful guy, and he is extremely furious.’
Assuming it was due to the father’s health – I knew he’d been in and out of the hospital for a terrible illness, just as I had – I told my daughters to ignore the grouchy guy since he was sick.
‘But Mummy, you’re sick, and you’re not nasty,’ they answered.
Even so, I was uncomfortable when they discussed the father’s evident rage issue, so I never scheduled another playdate unless I was there.
My eldest daughter said that she missed her buddy a few months later, so I asked if she wanted me to arrange for her to come over and play with us.
That’s when my youngest finally admitted that she had been slapped by an angry guy.
‘What do you mean he slapped you?’ I said, stunned. Where? When?’
I couldn’t make sense of what was going on, and as I attempted to make sense of it, an instinctual terror surged inside me.
As someone who is completely opposed to slapping in any situation, the image of a mature guy placing his hands on and frightening my child had me in tears!
That despair rapidly turned into a rage. He has no right to do that to my kid. He had no legal standing! I, too, saw red, as did Billie Faiers.
I sat quietly, patiently listening to my daughter tell her tale, and there was no way in a million years that any youngster could have made that up.
She’d gone into the kitchen after playing in the treehouse and taken a bite off of a pink fairy cake that had been left out.
The next thing she knew, her friend’s father had forcibly taken the fairy cake from her hand, placed it back on the plate, grabbed her arm, whacked her on the hand, and said, “You are not permitted in this home!”
My oldest daughter had observed the occurrence, and both children were afraid and confused what to do, so they had no option but to return to the treehouse and hide.
One of the saddest parts of the entire event was when I asked my daughter whether she wept, she said she was too afraid to weep in front of this aggressive, furious guy for fear of being slapped again.
To evade this guy, my four-year-old daughter was compelled to hide under a Mickey Mouse box in the yard.
It would be an understatement to say that this crushed my heart, but I knew I had to be as calm and supportive as possible in front of my children.
I wrote the child’s parents, expressing my revulsion and alarm, but they just denied it, claiming that they had never smacked any of their children.
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My girls had seen these parents smacking their own children on several times, thus this was a lie.
My call to the cops was logged on the file, but they didn’t think there was enough evidence to open an investigation, therefore the matter was closed.
Nothing will ever be able to undo what happened to my daughter. I know I can’t go back in time and prevent that guy from torturing her.
It has made me unsure about where I will send children in the future and whose parents I can trust.
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‘I kicked off,’ Billie Faiers says of the day a stranger hit her three-year-old kid on an aircraft.
MORE: Children with Long Covid: ‘I yearn for the day when I can reclaim my pre-Covid children’
MORE: Children were ‘hurt’ after being segregated based on their hair color in order to educate them about racism.
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