Kate said “I love you” to a stranger?!

One weekday afternoon, I took Kate and #5 to our neighbourhood playground.

As usual, she would go on her balance bike while I brisk walked next to her.

She tries to cycle as much as possible on the pavement, but for most stretches, it is hardly possible and she ends up having to cycle at the side of the road.

From afar, we saw a car turning in and she stopped.

I instructed her to come closer to me as we tried to find a space between the parked cars to nip in.

The car slowed right down, and the elderly man wound down his window.


I could see what was coming.

The man started telling me how dangerous it was to allow a little girl to ride on the road, and that she should be on the pavement, that sometimes drivers can’t stop in time, are not concentrating fully, or their reflexes might be slow.

I kept quiet and allowed him to go on.

Yes, I could have answered back with all my excuses.

That I’m sure he has never tried cycling on the pavements in our area, as he would have noticed that they are blocked by dustbins, flower pots or cracked pavements due to the tree roots.

When both sides of the lanes are clear, she is able to keep close to the pavement and if any car passes by, they have enough space on the other lane.

However, right where we were, cars were parked on one side of the road, which left only one clear lane.

Even though she looked like she was riding in the middle of the road, she was actually trying her best to keep to the side.

No, no, she doesn’t go to the playground in a frock

But I knew where this man was coming from.

He was concerned about the little girl on a bicycle.

After he was done with his little tirade, Kate waved to him and said “Ok uncle. Thank you uncle. Bye bye uncle. I love you, uncle.”

The elderly man broke into a smile, waved back and told her to take care.

#5 who had watched in silence exclaimed incredulously, “Who says I love you uncle to a stranger in a car!”

“I mean, who does that?!”

Kate passed him with a big smile on her face.

She could smell care and concern from the elderly stranger.

What struck me was how I felt after that.

If I had had any altercations with him whatsoever, it would have left everyone in a negative mood.

Instead, by biting my tongue, listening in humility, and acknowledging the concern the other party had, the exchange ended peacefully and none of us had to walk away with an unpleasant feeling in our hearts.

Kids have so much to teach us, don’t they?

Other lessons

Lesson #15: What are we worth, mums?
Lesson #16: What do you do when you get sick of parenting?
Lesson #17: The tragedy of our society

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

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