I didn't really want to be walking down that busy pavement today. Even though I knew we were going for ice cream, a big part of me wanted to get as far away from the people and the noise and the rushing traffic as possible. But I followed you anyway, sometimes holding your hand, sometimes not, always keeping an eye on you as we navigated the crowd.
But then something awful happened. I got distracted by something in a shop window and when I turned around, you were gone! You were gone, Mummy! I couldn't see you anywhere!
Straight away, I knew what had happened. You had left me there, alone, and gone back to the car without me. Quick as a flash I was running, back the way we came, back to the car, hoping to find you before it was too late.
I ran past the shops and the people, the sound of my own screaming ringing in my ears. Where was the car? Where was it? People were stopping to look at me, but I didn't care. I dodged past them, my coat falling off my shoulders. My feet pounded on the pavement, my breath came in sobs, tears were blinding my eyes. Surely I should be at the car by now? I thought maybe you had driven off already and I was to be lost here forever.
And then I heard your voice, dimly in the distance. You were shouting my name. But where were you? I stopped, shaking, and then you were with me, running up from behind, and you scooped me up and cuddled me close.
I was so cross with you Mummy. I shouted, "You shouldn't have left me! You shouldn't have gone to the car without me!" I hit you and kicked you, panic in charge of my limbs. But you said that you never left me and that you were right next to me when I started running and that you were chasing after me down the street calling my name but I couldn't hear you because my screams were so loud.
And then you said, "I would never, ever leave you in the street. I would never, ever go and drive off without you. I will never leave you alone."
And I know you believed what you were saying Mummy, and I'm glad you said it, but deep down, deep in my tummy, it's not true for me yet.
By the way, you still owe me an ice cream. Oh, and I'll be sleeping in your bed tonight.