Things you should never overhear

There are things you should never overhear, confessions to and of a priest. The whisper of lovers, unless you’re one of the two. The cries of a desperate man under the pressure of life. The public admission of our dark parenting methods. There is a story that does the rounds of people I know. In the good old days if a child would not sleep grannies encouraged parents to dip the dummy into sherry or put a little drop into their bottle, it will help them rest, was the belief. I am sure you will know it too.
After a long day, a longer night and then another morning on one of our train journeys the children around me are tired, excited, looking forward to going home. So show little signs of rest. As the family prepare to leave the train or de train as they call it here. Mom, I presume, says to the little one “if you don’t stop I’ll give you a RitilinshaKe”. I have to check that my hearing is correct and we agree Ritillineshake. The child then begins to sort of sing a song I want a shake, I want a shake. I have to say I presume some of what is not said but I believe mom means to give baby the equivalent of a modern day sherry. Ritillin is used to calm over active kids it is an ADHD prescriptive drug in the UK as I presume it is in the USA. I am not saying this is an American problem but it is the first time I have heard this phrase used. Perhaps I am naive and live a sheltered life but I wish I never heard it. I am unsure what to do with the information, maybe I am overreacting. I wish I had never overheard it.


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