There’s a saying that people in the TV industry like to live by – never work with animals or kids! I think there’s a lot of sayings you can apply to parenthood and I recently found that ‘never go shopping with the kids’ should be right at the top of them.
It was meant to be relaxing family stroll around what was left of the sales at the Trafford Centre but from the moment we got there stress levels had exceeded boiling point and the kids were bored as soon as we walked from the car park!
So, what do you do? Well after the kids inhaled the food supply from my Mary Poppins bag in less than five minutes (club biscuits, crisps, fruit shoots-all gone) the only other thing to try was splitting them up. Husband and daughter go one way – me and my 4-year-old son, the other – trying to give each other half an hour’s grace to browse successfully. Not a bad plan…right??
I had just picked up a well reduced dress that would possibly have turned me from scummy to yummy mummy when my son says the words that have all parents sighing up and down the country.
‘I want a wee!’
His legs start shaking, it’s obviously a race against time to make sure he gets to one.
So, it’s goodbye to the dress and hello to the loos.
Any Mum of a little boy will understand when I say, ‘the aim is always the problem’ and try as I might to get ‘Mr Winky’ pointing down the toilet bowl it was clearly facing upwards. At this point I’m saying to him…
‘Good boy, push Mr Winky down so you can see it go down the hole’
‘But I like Mr Winky spraying’
‘Yes, but it’s a Selfridges toilet sweetheart, just put it down’
And then it happened…
‘I want a pooh’
I’m now squatting down opposite him holding his hand as he sits on the loo trying to push it out. Time is ticking and my precious half hour shopping time is dwindling fast.
Just as the pooh finally drops Mr Winky decides there’s more wee to come…in my direction.
Yes, that’s right, my coat is soaked, my face has sprinkles of wet on it plus he’s also managed to drench his jeans that are down by his ankles (don’t ask).
‘Mummy, Mr Winky was naughty wasn’t he?’
I hear sniggers coming from the cubicles to my left and right.
His wet jeans in my hands I sheepishly leave the cubicle with son behind, realising everyone in the ‘posh loos’ knows what’s just gone on.
My son is now as happy as Larry, I however have realised Mary Poppins has failed to bring the change of clothes in her bag so we spend the next 10 mins at the hand drier as new people come in thinking I am a rubbish Mum for having their kid stand there in his undies.
Dead on the 30 mins being up we emerge from the toilets to meet husband and daughter, grins on their faces and shopping bags in hands.
‘Aw, did you not find anything to buy?’ asks Hubby.
I looked down at my son, back in his jeans, smiling up at me.
‘Don’t ask…’ I say through gritted teeth.
Never. Shopping. With Kids. Again.