I picked up Little Teapot from the childminders recently & thought I’d just nip to the supermarket on the way home (like you can ‘just nip’ anywhere with a 2 year old!). As I only needed a couple of things, I asked Little Teapot whether he wanted to walk or go in the trolley.
Offering a choice was my first mistake. After 2 years, I can’t even call it a rookie mistake. Honestly, I should know better & I’m ashamed to admit I was so foolish. Little Teapot said ‘I walk by myself, mummy’ & we set off hand in hand up the veggie aisle.
I quickly realised that I didn’t have enough hands to hold his hand, hold the basket & pick up the (ever increasing, as I remembered what we’d run out of) list of shopping into the basket, so asked Little Teapot to hold the handle of the basket. He did as he was asked for oooooh, all of 2 minutes, before turning to me & saying in a conspiratorial whisper ‘Mummy…….I run away’, to which I replied ‘No, please don’t do that. Show mummy what a good boy you can be’. He made a break for it, but I caught him up & he held the basket for a couple of seconds.
Next aisle over & a little voice says ‘Mummy, I tired. You carry me now?’. If only I could use my Go Go Gadget arms, this would have been fine, but as these these are fictional (see my future blog of ‘Things in fiction that should be real’) obviously that was out of the question.
I briefly considered putting him in the basket, before explaining that no, I couldn’t carry him & we were almost finished, so just be a little bit patient.
I should point out at this point, that Little Teapot has most certainly inherited my patience, rather than his very relaxed Daddy’s & since I usually want things immediately, if not sooner, this is not a positive! Rather than accept this answer, he sat down on the floor. In the middle of the dairy aisle. I asked what he was doing & his reply was ‘I stay here mummy’.
By this point, I was getting a variety of looks from fellow shoppers: withering ones from those who probably didn’t have children (or were sensible enough to have left them at home) were in a rush & frankly couldn’t be bothered with our shit after work on a Friday; badly stifled grins from the couple of young lads who clearly didn’t have anywhere else to be & were pretty much following us to watch the 2 year old out-smart his mum a bit more; & sympathetic glances from other mothers with (much better behaved) children in tow.
Little Teapot has now stretched out his entire (admittedly not that long) length on the floor – still in the dairy aisle, face down. I tell him he can’t stay there & that I’m off to see daddy at home (usually a guaranteed way to make him move, as he’s daddy’s boy!). This time, however, I think I pulled out the big guns too early & it backfired massively, as he replied ‘No mummy, I sleep here’. Well, where do you go with that?!
Behind me I heard laughter from the spotty, hooded youths & thought ‘enough is enough’!
I walked over, picked him up in the rugby ball position under my arm – now kicking & waving his fists – & carried him to the checkout.
Now, at this point you’d think the nightmare was over, but for some ridiculous, stupid, moronic reason not even I can explain, I chose the self-checkout (which is never any bloody quicker. Ever).
I then remembered that I had been struggling with only having the standard-issue 2 hands, as I tried to scan the shopping, pack it & hold on to Little Teapot. I thought I was being pretty clever by holding on to his hood, but just as I had my card in the machine the little sweetheart unzipped his coat & legged it toward the door.
I had a split second to chose between my new handbag (that I’d treated myself to with my Christmas bonus & was now 3 days old) & my firstborn son. Believe me when I say, after the past few minutes, it was a close run thing, but I left my (paid for) shopping on the check-out, my (new) bag next to it & my card in the chip & pin machine & ran after him.
Who knew someone so small could run so fast – helpfully, the lady doing charity donations pointed this out to me as I chased the boy, who was now giggling gleefully at making mummy look like such an idiot.
Red-faced & hoping no one had noticed (or nicked my belongings – did I mention my bag was new?!) we headed back to grab the shopping, with me suddenly wishing I’d bought wine.
I had well & truly been played.
I silently fumed all the way home, but by the time we got there I opened the car door & was greeted with Little Teapot doing his cheekiest face & smiling, saying ”Ello mummy’ & waving at me. Once again I was smitten with this beautiful little boy & stood no chance of staying cross!
As I reflected on the afternoon’s events with a large rosé that evening, I thought Little Teapot was pretty clever to have unzipped his jacket, but I fear for my future if I’m already having rings run around me by a 2 year old….
With you as my witness, I promise that from now on I will shop online. I reminisce on a time when I could ‘nip’ anywhere & wish I’d maximised on this when I had the opportunity. If you don’t have children, nip out now. Anywhere. Because you can!