Carousel of death…I may just be a hero…maybe.

I took Pippa to the beautiful antique carousel in Cascais. We bought €10 worth of tickets in October…which gives us 12 rides.  No one else was there, so we turned in a ticket and Pippa hopped on the ride.  At the last minute, this lady put her approximately 18 month old kid on a stationary elephant…it was a basket on top of an elephant to be exact.  Then she proceeded to go and talk on her phone on a bench near the carousel.

I was enjoying watching Pippa.  She was quite thrilled and then I noticed the little boy attempting to escape from the carousel.  The first time he passed me he just seemed agitated.  The second  pass he was getting pretty determined to escape.  By his third pass, I was freaking out.  I ran to where he was and I tried to tell him to not jump out.  The kid spoke no English, so I just shouted no in Portuguese.  This did not make him happy.  Meanwhile, his mother is clueless, still chatting on her phone.  I am running beside the carousel trying to convince this kid to not jump out.  My hands were full, but I threw everything on the ground, including my purse, and tried to grab the kid as he tried to jump.  He was screaming at me and trying to kick me…finally… the mother heard and casually, while still on the phone, restrained him.  She said nothing to me about my valient rescue attempt.  She didn’t even flinch.

At home, kids are not allowed on a carousel alone until at least 3.   How do I know this? My children have been obsessed with carousels forever and I have had to pay admission to ride them in order to keep them safe.   I have no official tally of how much money I have wasted, but as I said before I am a sucker.    When the woman eventually hung up her phone call, she made eye contact with me and mouthed the words ‘thank you.’  I told Pippa I was a Higglytown hero… if you don’t know what that is just google it.  Apparently there are no rules in Portugal as to how young a child can be when they ride alone on the carousel.  Just another example of my North American sensibilities screwing me over.  Maybe Portugal will teach me how not to be so over protective…then again it might also make me crazy anxious for even more kids than my own.

 This photo was taken before my heroic rescue attempt.


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