There are a lot of things I detest about urban life. Matatus bellowing smoke that look like Chinese dragons, boda boda guys who weave in and out of traffic risking lives under the guise of saving time in traffic; or drivers who will show you the middle finger during a Sunday mid-morning drive to church with all your children witnessing the rude show, which means you cannot return the favour and leaves you looking like a weak parent in the eyes of your teenage brood.
But none comes close to the spoilt children that I see so often in supermarkets terrorising their mothers.
On various occasions on various supermarkets, I have had the misfortune of witnessing spoilt brats throw tantrums and cause untold mayhem as they demand to be bought certain items.
There was this child who really wanted a toy. I happened to be shopping for a toy too. The boy, just about six or seven, speaking impeccable English kept pestering and haranguing his mother to buy the toy. The poor mum in her defence maintained that the boy had enough toys in the house. I could hardly resist this drama.
The boy's voice was now rising and gravity beckoned his tears. I looked at him and I think this made him annoyed more. He still had the toy in his hand and the mother was now shrieking at him, directing him to put back the toy on the shelf. He had other ideas. He smashed it against the floor.
Her mother's eyes almost popped out she looked at me and I was not sure whether she was sublimely asking for my intervention, I chose to mind my business and continued with my shopping unperturbed by the chaos around me which had now attracted two aisle attendants and the shop manager.
But this was kindergarten stuff compared to what I experienced last week in a supermarket. It was the same scenario. I think we are giving too much leeway to our children.
When I was growing up, my mother just needed to shoot me a stern look and I would go into autopilot, my best behaviour software would load instantly.
The kids brought up in town by the so-called middle class are very spoilt things. No wonder they cannot do anything for themselves. We even have to steal exams for them. This time the boy probably aged nine or ten wanted those huge battery powered cars that go for no less that Sh15,000.
He would have none of the pleadings. His mother tried all the tricks in the book, including sweet talking him to go home and come back with the dad to purchase. But the little rascal would have none of it.
The mother did what was best at the time. She walked away and left him at the toys section. I happened to be at the refrigerator area as I was trying to trace my daughter's favourite yoghurt. Then I heard a loud disturbing noise. I was alert.
After West Gate, any noise louder than a bar code reader at the check-out point deserves an investigation. It was the rascal breaking toys at the section with complete abandon. The mother rushed to him. He picked a packet of yoghurt from her basket and threw it to her. He narrowly missed her weave, but he did not miss an elderly shopper walking by.
It splashed all over the poor octogenarian.
The supermarkets attends had to help the poor woman control the little demon. But I do not pity her. This shows that the boy has not been told that in his life you cannot get everything, there are times to compromise and settle for something else.
The woman has not taught him that. She has instead spoilt him with gifts and pampered life. She has made her bed, let her lie on it, and I know she is not alone. The pretentious middle class are all guilty of this.