This is the story from my childhood when my brother and I were taken to a concert.
My father was what you would call a highbrow. He was a clever scientist but sometimes not always on the ball when it came to common sense! I always found him to be rather remote and my brother Godfrey and I learned not to bother him too much because he could get very annoyed with us for the slightest thing. When I look back I realized that he was not very good with children's needs at all but he mellowed into a lovely grandpa to my children. They have very happy memories of him so I think he must have practiced on Godfrey and me, before moving on to become that lovely Grandpa!
However, when I was a child, his favourite saying was, "Children should be seen but not heard!" This was completely old fashioned even when I was a child. In some ways he treated us like adults and took us to see some operas, recitals and concerts that were totally unsuitable for young children.
I can remember when I was about five years old and Godfrey only half that age, my Mum and Dad took us to a very stuffy church concert. I can picture it all very clearly in my mind's eye......... a church hall that was very dreary and rows of chairs filled with very old people. The women all wore hats, so where we were sitting, we couldn't see much of the stage at all, even though we were quite near the front. We were the only children there. Large fat ladies trilling out arias that seemed to go on for hours. We were getting very bored as there was nothing at all to interest young children. Nothing to see, no reason to be there at all. Naturally we were restless and must have whined and moaned, as the lady directly in front of us, turned round and offered my brother and me a boiled sweet each out of a white paper bag. I popped one into my mouth, glad of the diversion, but before Mum could stop him, Godfrey had put one into his mouth and promptly started to choke! He literally couldn't breath.
My Dad swooped him up under his arm and calmly walked out of the hall. My Mum looked very distressed and after what seemed like an hour but could only have been a few minutes, father and son returned to the hall and walked with smiling faces to their seats and Godfrey was munching his sweet! Apparently Dad had turned him upside down and slapped his back and the offending sweet dislodged from his windpipe!
We both sat still as mice for the rest of the concert and I think that little emergency shocked us into silence while the arias droned on.................!
Funny I should remember that so clearly!