Dad dot info form. Ask questions, get answers

Sweet little things

We were staying in London for a couple of days and all four of us were in our local newsagents on Highbury Barn. We dutifully got our newspaper and Arun trundled up to the counter to hand over the token to pay for it.

The young owner smiled across the counter at him, “Thank you!” he said taking the token, “Would you like a sweetie or a chocolate?”

Arun, feeling very pleased with himself replied, “Yeah!”

My daughter, Meri standing not four feet away pricked up her ears and ran up to the counter and gave the poor, helpless shopkeeper her best doe-eyed stare.

“Would you like a chocolate too?” He asked, falling right into her little trap.

She nodded enthusiastically.

“Hold on you two,” I interjected, “You can’t just take things.” I looked at the shopkeeper imploring him to help out, “It’s very kind of you but they’ve got to learn that they’ve got to earn treats. You’ll spoil them.”

But, it was too late. Arun and Meri were both delightedly tumbling out of the shop with a lion bar each.

Clare stepped in, “Arun, Meri! What do you say?”

“Thank you,” they finally mumbled. Clare and I too thanked the shopkeeper for his kindness.

As we left the shop we had a little discussion. Clare said, “You can’t say no when people offer things like that out of the kindness of their heart. It’s ungrateful.”

I couldn’t disagree, “It’s lovely that people find our kids so cute they want to give them freebies but I’m just worried about the precedent it sets. And anyway, it’s not right for the shopkeeper. He’s making a loss every time we go in there.”

The next day, we were back at our house in Bedford. Meri and I went into the local convenience store. On entering the shop, Meri scampered around looking for Pat, her favourite shop assistant – the one that gives her free sweets.

Pat was there and was delighted to see Meri. She reached behind the counter and gave Meri some fruit pastels. Meri took them and looked at them. She looked at them a bit longer. Her little brow furrowed.

“What’s wrong?” asked Pat.

“Don’t want these. Want something different,” my daughter explained. “Want some chocolate.” She demanded.

Pat didn’t skip a beat. She reached into her purse, put a couple of quid in the till and handed Meri a big bag of chocolate buttons, “there you go.”

I stood by watching, horrified. My mouth dropped and for once I was lost for words. When I finally did find them I said, “Meri, that was very rude. Thank you Pat, but you mustn’t. That was awful behaviour. Let me pay for them.”

“It’s OK,” said Pat, “I love treating them.” She refused to take my money.

On the way home little Meri got a good and proper telling off. We laid down some new ground rules: she could only accept sweets if mummy or daddy said it was OK and if she ever asked for sweets again from a shop worker, she would not be allowed to eat them. Just to prove that I meant what I said, I confiscated the chocolate buttons. Daddy did go down in Meri’s estimations as a result but so far the new regime is holding.

And what happened to the ill begotten chocolate buttons? Well, it’s not big and it’s certainly not clever but I have to admit, I ate them. I had to teach her a lesson but there’s no point letting them go to waste is there?





The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of

Related entries

Too old for this

Too old for this

It was late on a Thursday evening and Rodger and I were walking up Upper Street in Islington, looking for a Thai restaurant. We were a little worse for wear   “You OK?” he asked looking at my awkward gait. “Yeah,” I said with that little inflection that indicated...

The big day

The big day

I could hear the rustling from the room next-door and glanced at my watch: 6:30 am. I groaned to myself but there was a certain inevitability about it   The kids bounded into our room moments later. “Is Uncle Steve here? Is he here?” They asked excitedly. “Yes,...

The big questions

The big questions

I was walking home from school with my five year old daughter. As we approached our front door she looked up at me   “Daddy?” she asked in that tone of voice that all dads will recognise as a precursor to something that they’ve been pondering. “Yes?” I answered...

Latest entries

How To Keep Your Child Safe Online

How To Keep Your Child Safe Online

As a parent of a 10 year old who is rapidly approaching the age where he will be getting his own phone, I’m concerned about ensuring he isn’t exposed to a cavalcade of disturbing things online. I’m worrying about bullying, about him being contacted or making friends...

21 Things You Didn’t Know About Japan

21 Things You Didn’t Know About Japan

The Olympics have started! Despite a lack of fans (crowd noise will be piped into the stadiums instead) the event is still as important as ever and makes for great summer viewing. So at Dad.Info we have rounded up 21 interesting facts about Japan to both liberally...

How To Have A Holiday At Home

How To Have A Holiday At Home

If you’re anything like me and flip flopped about for ages, unsure what to do about booking a summer holiday this year amid constantly- changing Covid news, then you’ll be finding yourself at home for the summer. But while we may not be able to dip our toes in the...

Pin It on Pinterest