An open letter to the lady at The Royal Albert Hall xx

The first I knew of your existence was when I heard your young daughter’s screams as I walked with my children down the stairwell to the toilets following The Great Orchestral Adventure. The next thing I knew your daughter (I assume she was your daughter) had thrown herself across the floor and was flailing her arms and legs whilst you tried so patiently to calm her.

By the time we came out of the toilets, you were gone so we returned to my husband and prepared ourselves to leave the concert hall. As is generally the case with my own family, it wasn’t without incident, my 6-year-old son had stumbled at the top of the stairs and banged his head on a shelf and my 3-year-old was screaming because he had been told to get in the pushchair until we could get to where it was less busy.

Royal Albert Hall

As we stepped out onto the pavement I heard your daughter again, she was laid on the pavement to the side of the steps still screaming hysterically and I caught your eye. You looked upset, stressed, lost? I placed my hand on your shoulder and asked you if you were ok? You replied, “no I don’t know what to do, she has never done this before”. I tried speaking to your daughter and she calmed for a few seconds before starting again and I asked you if she was with anyone else and if there was anything I could do to help. You replied, “no I’m on my own”. At that point my 3-year-old began to scream and kick again because he wanted me to hold his pushchair, I turned to speak to him and somehow we got pulled along with the crowd away from you and I became lost in my own little family but I felt so bad for walking away and leaving you.

We moved to the other side of the road to take photographs of the Royal Albert Hall and I looked to see if I could see you but I couldn’t.

I thought about you all afternoon, had anyone helped you, had you managed to calm your daughter down? My children have never had a tantrum to the extent your daughter was but I do know how stressful it can be when your children play up in public and people just stare at you. You feel like they are making a judgement but actually, they are probably just feeling for you, if only they would reach out.

I do hope that your day got better and I am sorry that I couldn’t stay to help. I just wanted you to know that you were not alone xx

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