One thing I’ve always loved about Italy is the attitude towards children. You can take them anywhere and everyone seems to adore kids.
But slowly, as my Italian has improved, I’ve realised that this isn’t always the case. Take, for example, the scene I witnessed on the beach yesterday. A Mother was with her two daughters and their Grandmother. I’m guessing the girls were about one and six. Mum was in the sea with her two daughters, holding the one year old whilst the six year old was floating on an inflatable of some sort.
So the baby’s had enough and it’s time for her to get out of the water. Instead of the Grandmother wading into the sea to collect the tot, she waits on the shore with a towel whilst Mum brings her over, leaving the other daughter on the inflatable alone in the sea. The girl on the inflatable gets scared. “Mum” she cries “come back”. Her Mother says “I’m coming, I’m coming. Wait a minute”. The Grandmothers’ response to her Granddaughters’ pleas? “Stai zitto stronsa”, (shut up you piece of shit). Yeah – everyone loves children here.