A Stranger Took My Childs Hand

holding handsRecently Moose and I took a trip into town.

Nothing was particularly needed but for a change of scenery and some fresh air. Somedays Moose is more than happy to play in the lounge and some days. Well. He isn’t.

He did well, we walked around the shopping centre for a while. Admired an art installation. Went for cake. Walked like pigeons… the usual. Then my little man started to walk a little more slowly, he had an occasional rub of the eyes, then a little yawn. It was time to head home. In fact that time had passed and I should have known better. I was well aware of the ticking time bomb I had on my hands and so back to the car we started.

We almost made it. As we came to around 5minutes from the safety of my car IT happened. Moose just stopped dead. I did what I could, I swear. I came down to his level, I sympathised that he must be tired but just a few more steps and he could relax. Not good enough. Not even close. He went for it.

Crying, shouting, thrashing. There was no way I could carry him, by then my hands were already full. I cursed myself for not bringing a backpack and then told Moose that as soon as he was ready we could get going. He kept thrashing. I was getting ‘the look’ from passers by. He kept thrashing. I attempted to keep my cool. I am not usually too bothered by this sort of thing and I wasn’t pressed for time so I stood and waited for him to finish.

Then the other IT happened. Someone got involved. A stranger. He was a broad, tall man in his older years with a shock of silvery hair and a beard to match. An imposing figure even to me and he came striding straight for us at speed before stopping abruptly as though he was about to walk over Moose. I had no idea what to say. He addressed me and said “hello, I hope this is ok” before crouching down to my 2 year old rageball and he said in a booming voice “Young man. I think we have had quite enough of this. Lets walk together with Mummy” and he took his hand. Moose looked at me. I looked at Moose. We were both caught completely off guard.

It was working so I went with it. I took Moose’s other hand and we walked. The man spoke with fondness about his own Grandchildren and made jokes with us before wishing us well and going on his way as quickly as he had arrived with a thank you from a now composed Mummy. The entire encounter lasted 5 minutes at most and I was left wondering what the correct response should have been. I have certainly never allowed a stranger to take my child’s hand before but there really was no time to think so I went with my instinct!

On reflection I wish I had asked his name. I would have liked to have had the opportunity to thank him properly. I have had strangers get involved in tantrums before but never in a positive way. Plenty of tuts, or stern instruction to “sort my kid out”. Nobody helped though. It lasted 5 minutes and it was sort of nothing but I will think about that stranger for a long time I am sure. Having someone lend a hand just because he could in a world where we hear a lot in the media about why we should fear strangers, it was lovely. Thank you. Whoever you are.


Mummy & Moose





  1. March 30, 2017 / 8:20 am

    At first I was like ….
    but then I read further and want to cheer that gentlemen, because he was actually being helpful. It’s so nice when someone actually takes Mum’s side, isn’t it when we are dealing with those moments!! ❤

    • March 30, 2017 / 12:30 pm

      Yes absolutely! I was worried when I saw him at first because he did look quite stern! I thought I was about to be told that I was doing a rubbish job. I was wrong. Maybe we expect the worst too often x

  2. March 30, 2017 / 1:20 pm

    Ohh! I was worried when I started reading this too….
    What a wonderful man. I wish there was more people like him in the world.

  3. March 30, 2017 / 4:25 pm

    Aw this is a lovely story.
    I think we have all become too scared and wary, we all think the worst. Sometimes we should be the ones offering a helping hand if we can.

  4. Natalie
    March 30, 2017 / 5:50 pm

    This gave me goosebumps (in a good way!). I wish we were all more able to give and accept help with situations like these. Raising children is so much easier when it involves “the village”. I try and help other mums like me whenever I can but it’s tricky not to come across as creepy! What a heartwarming experience, thanks for sharing.

  5. March 31, 2017 / 6:15 am

    So many assumptions with that title, but it was an awesome choice! I loved this post and how honest the situation is. I had a random wipe my son’s nose… with his shirt. It was a little weirder than your situation!

  6. Anonymous
    March 31, 2017 / 7:49 am

    DC was 3 and was on the pavement screaming. Goodness knows what people thought. i was starting to panic as the screaming was a new thing. An elderly lady stopped and said “I used to have one of those”. DC stopped screaming and looked at her with interest. She told me how as a boy her son was a terrible screamer, and would not be invited to parties because it was so bad. “All ok now?” I ask, dreading the answer – yes, he had grown up to be a lovely man, with a wife and children and a good job. I could have hugged her. DC stopped screaming that time, and the next time he screamed i didn’t panic so much.

  7. March 31, 2017 / 9:09 am

    That’s such a lovely story, I have had a stranger help me with my twins before in a full on meltdown it was very much a go with the flow and I was so grateful.

  8. March 31, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    sounds like it was the thing you needed right there and then, I’m glad people still feel able to help out x

  9. Kate
    March 31, 2017 / 9:03 pm

    This has inspired me, thank you for sharing this story. I hope I will have to courage to step in and help a parent in such a positive way.

  10. Karen
    March 31, 2017 / 11:20 pm

    I have had two similar things happen to me, I was at a tourist attraction with my 4 year old and his 5 month baby brother we were watching a talk about otters I had been holding my eldest so he could see when the baby started crying so I put him down to pick the baby up. My eldest was dancing around trying to see, an older gentleman moved slightly clearing a space by the fence then lifted my son so he was standing on the fence now able to see and continued to hold him safely there! My gut reaction was to scream put my son down but on quick reflection of the situation he was there with his family I was stood next to him what exactly could happen if he was suddenly to take off with him there was lots of people around to help so I went with it even though I felt uneasy till he lifted him back down and returned him to me at that point I thanked him and wished him a good day.
    The second was in our local supermarket my son was helping me with our basket of shopping another elderly gentleman in front of us turned and scruffed his hair and praised him for being a good boy helping mummy, he then reached in his pocket an offered my son £1 for being good as he did I shot him a look he replied I hope you don’t mind I have no grandchildren of my own so I like to treat well behaved children i meet! Again I felt very uneasy with every thought possible running through my head but I accepted the £1 on behalf of my son and asked him to say thank you the guy looked so happy took his shopping and left. I often wonder if I did react in the right way or wether I shouldn’t of let either of them interact with my children but I did my son is safe and nothing every came of either encounter other than a realisation that we are so scared of others intentions we always fear the worst to the extent that if in a park a child falls in front of you, you are too scared to pick them up and comfort them or if you encounter a lost child you are too scared to take there hand to lead them to safety incase the patent comes and acueses you of taking them because I know if I saw someone leading my boys off I would think the worst and that makes me so sad .

  11. H
    April 1, 2017 / 12:01 am

    Absolutely believe in ‘the village’….. my kids have strong and positive family role models but they need to see that operate in the wider community…… always welcome to speak to my kids…. the village x

    • April 4, 2017 / 9:37 am

      Absolutely agree!

  12. April 2, 2017 / 10:33 pm

    I had similar a few years ago in a shop when one of my boys was having a tantrum. A man came over and very gently but firmly said to my son, “that’s no way to behave for Mummy” and my son stopped. He looked at the man and the man then just chatted to him, he said he had been a foster carer for 30 years so he ‘knew’ children. As we departed he winked at my son and said “be good for Mummy she loves you”. It took me a while to get my head around it but it was a positive experience xx

    • April 4, 2017 / 9:36 am

      He sounds fab! It really makes you think when something so out of the ordinary happens. It’s a bit of a shame that it’s not completely normal for people to give support when they see a parent struggling xx

  13. April 5, 2017 / 5:57 am

    I think a lot of people are fearful of strangers when 99% of them want to help. I have let others help before now and see it as a blessing. What a kind and helpful gentleman

  14. September 7, 2017 / 8:10 pm

    I had 2 polar opposite experiences on these lines when DS was about 2.5. Full disclosure – he has always had temper issues (I only realised how bad when DD came along and was so much more placid – until then people would tell me they knew how I felt about tantrums and tried to compare their kids to mine – that’s a different story).

    Anyway, story one is in a playground where DS isn’t wanting to share something with another kid and ends up pushing her over when she persists. I wasn’t in the most accessible point to be fair (they were on an enclosed climbing frame structure and I had a 3 month old baby with me) by I got there pretty quickly but not before her mother had pushed him back! Heart pounding I told her I could handle my own kid THANK YOU and she said apparently I couldnt if I wasn’t even ‘anywhere near’ him when the incident happened. She then berated me for him making her daughter cry. I was so shocked that she had laid a hand on my kid I didn’t know what to say but managed to retort that she had made my son cry and somehow we got out of the situation and they left almost immediately. I was fuming.

    Compare that to an incident at a church run play group (note not al participants including me were regular church attendees). DS decided to attack another kid by pulling his hair while I was out of reach and BF my new baby. Another mum saw the situation and immediately saw who I was and what I was doing. I can’t even remember what she said or did to DS but she handled the situation with such grace and calmness that I found myself almost in tears with gratitude.

    I know which mum I would rather be if I was on the other side.

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