Chiswick Mothers Have Their Say

Raymond Elias appears alone in his views of 'pavement dragons'

Not since High Road House's canopies has a story provoked such strong opinions from the community not even the campaign to reclaim Chiswick's pavements for pedestrians.

Chiswick resident Raymond Elias expressed his opinions, but of course there are always differing viewpoints as quite a number of Chiswick mothers, and now traders, have articulately expressed.

Raymond’s Views

Chiswick Mothers’ Views

Chiswick Shopkeeper’s Views

This appellation of 'Yummy Mummy' could not be further from the truth as there is absolutely nothing 'Yummy' about the way these dragons of the pavement behave.

Back in the day when my friend had her children, she would have been most embarrassed if anyone had had cause for complaint either about her children's behaviour or about the manner in which she steered her pushchair. When her children were in a shop, they were kept strapped in their buggies or held firmly by the hand with strict instructions 'not to touch anything'.

In fact, my friend's daughter was a bit of a nightmare and wanted to look at, and touch, everything so the child was instructed to sit on her hands - incidentally, this child is now 26 and the controls, and insistence on good-manners, placed on her when young have not in the least damaged or stifled her natural curiosities or made her overly aggressive as an adult (she is now a successful lawyer).

Not today's children though! They charge around in their demanding, hyper-active way screaming and yelling and requiring attention from all and sundry.

Their mothers have absolutely no control over them and seem not to care one jot if they disturb or upset other customers.

Further, in local restaurants, these women have taken-over the premises and turned them into no-go areas with impromptu unattended crèches, where they sit, nursing a single drink of coffee or tea for hours on end whilst chatting to their friends and ignoring their out-of-control offspring. Drinks and food are spilt on the floor and no attempt is made by the children's parents to clear up the mess, even though it constitutes a danger and a slipping hazard to other customers - they expect the wait-staff to undertake this service.

Their children rush round screaming, yelling and playing tag and the whole performance is ignored by all the mothers present. These restaurants are now boycotted by other users who peer in the door, see the mayhem within, and go elsewhere (or home).

What has happened to the current generation of parents and children?

Shopping, walking or eating in Chiswick today is no longer the pleasant experience it used to be. We all have a duty to respect other people's space, be mindful that our, and our children's, actions could be injurious to others and to remember that with rights also come responsibilities.

"I am a mother in Chiswick and whilst I understand that there are some mothers who do let their children run riot and spoil things for others (as in absolutely every walk of life), not all of us are like that.

My children are beautifully behaved in restaurants, coffee shops etc when I take them as I have taken the trouble to teach them how to behave properly. I ensure that, when they walk or scoot along the pavements, they do so carefully so as not to inconvenience anyone else and I have the smallest push chair I could buy (a McClaren). If I have to stop the push chair, I ensure that I am tucked out of everyone's way.

When the circus came to W4 last year, I took my daughter to see it. It was her first time and she was thrilled with the experience. On the way home, she was running along the pavement and passed by an old man who was sat on a bench. As she ran past, the old man said, very loudly and deliberately, "f*****g kids".

I was utterly horrified that a woman and child could be sworn at in this way when the only crime was to run - she had not hit him, pushed past or come within three feet of him and yet this is how we are treated.

We are genuinely not all doing a bad job and are trying our hardest to bring up decent, thoughtful offspring."

"Who on earth is Raymond Elias and why does he feel so morally superior that he can dismiss such a large part of our community as being 'dragons'? I can't help but feel that Mr Elias owes a large number of readers an apology."

"People could well do with a bit more civilised understanding and compassion. 

Our roads, pavements, cafes and parks all compete to provide space for too many cars, cyclists, mothers, fathers, children, dogs, kids coming home from school, people just out for a doesn’t help to attack each other in this fashion."

I would like to voice my support and opinion of the "Lovely Mummies" of Chiswick, who I have had the pleasure to serve in the past eight years that I have owned Tots Boutique.

Mothers with children in tow, take great care to be aware and responsible whilst browsing or purchasing.  They are always mindful of their occupying space with buggies, in a small shop, and are considerate to other customers.

There will always be the odd rude exception, but I emphasise, that is what it is; an exception.  Most mothers are pleasant, polite and appreciative, and I for one, would feel very uncomfortable having to serve the pompous, grumpy (no) gentleman by the name of Raymond Elias!



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