How to Placate an Angry Mother

It seems to me that when a parent tells their kid they’re going to the supermarket he immediately presumes the moment they get there he’ll be smacked.  It appeared so yesterday when I ventured into Morrisons to raid the food bank trolley.  A tearful little boy, no more than six, was being dragged down an aisle by his angry mother.
“I told you!” she chided, “you are not having sweets!”
“But why?” cried the boy, cowering at the inevitable blow.
“Because you were rude to me!” she replied.
At which the little boy, snotty-nosed and etiolated, began to scream, and the inevitable blow inevitably came.  At which point another lady the mother knew came by and asked what was the matter.
“He was rude to me so I wouldn’t buy him sweets,” grunted the angry mother.
“You mustn’t be rude to your mother,” said the woman, making it her business.
“And then he wouldn’t stop crying so I smacked him,” said the mother.
“Well Charlie,” said the woman, making it her place to say so, “Naughty boys don’t get sweets!”
“They do not!” said the mother, “And you owe me an apology for showing me up in front of Mrs Smith.”
“I’m sorry,” mumbled the boy.
“Pardon?” said the mother and Mrs Smith in unison.
“I said sorry,” repeated Charlie a bit louder.
“Right,” said the mother, “We’ll hear no more about it.”
“Alright mum,” said Charlie, “Except we’ll probably laugh at this one day.”  At which point the mother, Mrs Smith and me all laughed as I continued my journey to the food bank trolley.
When I left the store I saw the mother again, and there was the precocious little boy walking beside her, smiling to himself and chewing a Curly Wurly.

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