“Funniest thing I ever saw,” said the tram conductor as he perched himself on the seat behind Adelaide’s children, allowing him to make eye contact with Adelaide while at the same time directing the flow of his words into her children’s ears, “young* mother gets on the tram, validates her own ticket, and I tell her what I just told you, that the kids pay if they’re five or over and she says ‘he’s not five’.”

The tram conductor shook his head conspiratorially.

“But then, of course, the kid pipes up ‘yes, I am'”

Even the next day as she wrote about the incident on the interwebs Adelaide’s heart still beat a bit too fast and dots swam before her eyes.

“So I had no choice but to make her buy the ticket.”

The tram conductor allowed room for a small silence. The woman beside Adelaide shuffled a little in her seat. Adelaide maintained the eye contact with the tram conductor .

The tram conductor spoke again.

“Kids, hey? They’re very proud of their age.”

And had it not transpired that, for the first time in his life, her youngest child had remained COMPLETELY SILENT WHAT’S WITH THAT BUT LET’S TAKE WHATEVER SMALL GIFTS THE UNIVERSE SENDS it could have been the most embarrassing moment in Adelaide’s life, except that she had once been standing on a stage dressed as Minnie Mouse and wet her pants.

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*as with many people, he was using the young awkwardly to mean ‘mother of young children’ rather than ‘mother who is young’