What is your saddest memory of your children

“Then go see your father if you miss him so much! Go! GO ON! ”- about a sad encounter

Last weekend I was sitting with my little daughter on the Rhine. We were happy to have our shady spot on the stairs and shared a small fries - unfortunately the most exciting thing the “Street Food Festival” in Cologne's Rheinauhafen had to offer. Another mom sat next to us on the stairs, she had a daughter with her. Because she kept mentioning it later, I know the child's name and age. I'll call her Anna now. Anna was ten years old.
So upset and full of anger and anger, the mother sat down while the little girl, Anna, sat beside her with strong tears and tried again and again to calm and touch her.
“Get out of here, Anna!” Hissed the mother: “You screwed everything up for me! You screwed me up all day with your fucking mood. I was so looking forward to today. But no, you're in such a shitty mood again! "

The girl, Anna, cries bitterly: "No mom, I'm not in a bad mood, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to, please let's go to the cathedral."

The mother now louder: “Yeah, I can't offer you anything, can I? But I try and what's the thanks Always this shitty mood! Is your father missing something? Yes? Do you miss him or what ??? Huh ?? "
The girl shyly: “No, mom, I don't miss him. Really. I promise you!"
The mother continues: “It's not there either! And if you miss him: Well then go to your fucking father if you miss him like that! Go! GO ON!"

The girl is crying harder, her eyes are swollen with tears.

Another woman sits down next to us on the steps. She too looks at the situation speechless at first.

I hug my little daughter and try to enjoy the moment with my child. But I feel so much resentment but also sadness against this woman that I am completely overwhelmed. I want to go and tell her to stop putting her child down like that.

Am I able to? Am I allowed to do that? How do I do that?

I stay seated and think about formulations. Do I go and leave my daughter alone with her fries? What exactly am i saying? Can I defuse the situation even though I'm so mad at this strange mother?

It goes on and on, the mother gets more and more into it, although she always only has the same thing to say. In the end, it remains a sad scenario. A mother who scolded her daughter for minutes in a monologue and blamed her for everything. A little girl, Anna, ten years old, who begs to be close to her mom, takes her hand over and over again, gets it snatched away and is hissed at.

“You are ten years old”, the mother shouts now. “Ten years! You are spoiled! And with your fucking bad mood you ruined everything! You always break everything! Always! You're such a fucking kid! "

"But mom, I'm not in a bad mood at all," the girl says very quietly again and wants to hug her mom. The girl cries and cries and cries.

“Tssss”, the mother counters, pushes the child's arm away and turns away again.
Suddenly the mother speaks more softly and speaks to the girl in such a way that I don't understand. It has to be even worse, because the girl just shouts: "Mom, no mom, please mom, no mom!" And she cries so bitterly.

The whole situation takes about 15 minutes, it seems much, much longer to me.

The woman, who finally sat down later, approaches the mother and intervenes. This strange woman is whispering something in her mother's ear. Then the mother calls after the woman: "She's just spoiled". And then snorts at her child: “You won't go to the cathedral today! You messed up everything with your fucking mood, you go into the car and wait there! ALONE! Then you can charge your fucking cell phone and write to your father! ”And the child:“ But mom, I don't want to go into the car alone. I don't even know how to get there. "

The mother runs away, the girl follows her. Progress is slow, and the woman keeps turning around to abuse her child. She doesn't even notice that she has gone way too far. That you is the one who escalated the whole situation - not the kid. That she rejected her daughter in every sentence.

I'm sitting there with my little daughter and I'm angry with my cowardice. For minutes I was tossing and turning sentences that I could say to mother.
And I didn't say it.
I should have done it! I should have interfered, after all, the mother involved everyone around us because she yelled at her child so loudly.

I can't forgive myself for not stepping in. That I allowed this mother to corner her child mentally for minutes. With every sentence, with every word I felt and heard, of course, that it wasn't really about the daughter at all. That this mother is desperate and dissatisfied in her life situation. And that she is the real problem, not the child.

I talk to a psychologist friend of mine about the situation. She relieves me a little because she experiences situations like this in her practice every day. If I had confronted the mother with all my anger in front of the child, I would have exposed the mother - ergo, she would have placed even more guilt on her child. According to the motto: "Do you see what you have done!"
So I could not have reversed all of my mother's feelings with a saying - at best I could have calmed my conscience.

Still, I think: I reacted wrongly because I didn't react. I've acted against my nature to just speak my mind. I stayed out of it and was a coward. I feel very sorry for the child about that.

Now, with hindsight, with a clearer head, I think: Maybe I should have just given the mother and her daughter a French fries - “share them and love each other”. But that didn't occur to me in the situation. But it could have worked.

However, there is no excuse for doing nothing.