Saturday, November 19, 2005

I think I might be going insane...

Is early afternoon too early to start on the vodka shots? Because I need some form of Mommy's little helper right now, and since my doctor is one of those inconveniently modern-thinking types I'm unlikely score any legal supplies of Valium in the near future.

Yep, we've just got home after a morning of consumer hell.

Whatever possessed me to set foot in Waitrose on a Saturday morning I'm not sure. My only conclusion is that I am certifiably insane and my only comfort, if that is the case, is that I have a long stay in a very quiet room of my own to look forward to.

And as for flat renovation shopping... all I know is that I might possibly kill anyone who even mentions the word 'porcelain' to me ever again.

Imagine: pristine bathroom showroom, populated by grinning salesmen and West London's finest, not a child in sight. Then we come through the doors... one baggy-eyed wild-haired harrassed mother and two children engaged in full-volume grumbling; Firstborn because she has a "hurty scratchy thing sticking into my bottom" (it turned out to be the label on her knickers) and the Small(er) One in a screeching back-arching rage about the indignity of being strapped into the buggy.

I went in prepared. I had a list; a proper sort of list with dimensions and sketches and negotiation entry and exit points. But what I hadn't bargained for is to what extent two frisky and determined children can scupper the best laid plans.

Waiting for one of the many salesmen to stop looking busy and serve me was enough to bring me to simmering point. I don't dress up for Saturday shopping expeditions, there's not much point when being smeared with ice-cream and other toddler byproducts is inevitable, so I suppose my scruffiness was a bit of a turn-off for these shiny-suit-clad minions. I'm not totally insensitive, I can see where they're coming from on this one, but there came a point where being bypassed in favour of yet another smilingly smug couple (sans offspring) started to look like a pointed insult. Bear in mind that as I was tapping my feet and trying to catch the eye of each of the salesmen scurrying past me, Firstborn was busily trying to push the Small(er) One head first into a Victorian-style claw foot bath (don't think too badly of Firstborn for this ungentle activity, the Small(er) One was a more than willing participant).

Finally, just as I had managed to collar one of the salespeople - only achieved by literally grabbing his sleeve and refusing to let go - I realised that Firstborn had vanished. Oh My God. The Mummy Fear took hold, a frosty fist squeezing my beating heart. I scooped the Small(er) One up under my arm, rugby style, and raced around the showroom bellowing Firstborn's name at the top of my voice. A little voice piped up, "Here I am, Mummy. Over here!" Firstborn was eventually located in one of the bathroom displays, perched on a sleek white contemporary-style loo with her pants and knickers around her ankles.

Yes, Firstborn did a wee in one of the display lavatories.

We left quickly and I don't think we'll be going back there in a hurry.

So now we're home. The house is in the sort of state one would expect only in the immediate aftermath of a historical re-enactment of the Charge of the Light Brigade. The Small(er) One is expressing her creativity with a chewed-up carrot stick collage on the kitchen wall. Firstborn is in full-blown hysterics because she's just realised that she's not going to school today. There are three messages from Alpha Male asking if I bought the bathroom fittings because it's essential we get started on the new bathroom by Wednesday at the latest. Or what, may I ask? Hell will freeze over? A camel will fit through the eye of a needle? Jordan will be the next Prime Minister? All I know is that there is no way on Earth I will be taking the children to any kind of showroom - carpet, lighting, bathroom, kitchen, whatever - ever again.

Slay me for saying this, but I'm starting to think the Victorian attitude to child rearing was spot on.


Manhattan Mama said...

Last weekend we went out for dinner for our anniversary -- and took the Rabbit. A trendy spot, very much the kind of place where they make you wait while a sea of empty tables stare you in the face mocking your unworthiness....we finally got sat, and the Rabbit proceeded to eject nearly everything in her mouth on to the floor in a half-masticated state. That plus her pointing to the gallery of dead animals on the walls ("Is that B-B-Bambi??") and then crying out into this hipster apocolypse "I want to go home!" made us agree with you, YLM.

Question is: We love it when the Rabbit, dressed in her party dress, is seen, but where is the off button (used sparingly I promise!) to make them not heard?

Yummy London Mummy said...

MM - LOL - did she really? Bambi?! Hilarious. RE. off true, children have a serious design fault.

Suburban Turmoil said...

That is so funny! How embarrassing- I would've gotten the hell out of there as well, before they suggested that I clean the mess up myself!

Serves them right, though...

Moonface said...

That is hilarious! I am still laughing, imagining a little girl doing a wee in a display loo in a showroom!

inkerperson said...

A wee in the display lavatory. LOL!

Michele sent me BTW.

Yummy London Mummy said...

Hi Lucinda - it does serve them right. I must admit that I'm chuckling right now, just thinking about it.
Hi Moonface-you can totally see where she was coming from, can't you? I mean, a loo is a loo to a toddler. What kind of craziness is a loo that you can't use?
Hi inkerperson, good to see you.

Kim said...

We had an incident in Target once. In what is commonly referred to as 'the dark years' - those when the boys were aged anywhere between 18 months to 3.5years and I wasn't medicated. It involved two children overthrowing my sanity in an obviously well planned and remarkably executed attack on any sanity residue scraping the bottom of my brain. There was public flogging. That once started I felt would not stop. It involved dragging said children back to the car. what followed was a self-instigated six month exile from taking them anywhere, together except their grandparents house (where damn it, the older generation could draw on years of experience and try to do something with the devil spawn I had obviously produced) and very rarely a gated park. Even now my kids get so excited by an open plan park. 'The freedom,' they screech, 'the freedom!'

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

My baby brother (now 30) famously tested the services of several display loos - dad was a builder and these days I can understand the kind of revenge my mother was wreaking in making him occasionally take three kids with him to timber and plumbing suppliers on weekends...

Yummy London Mummy said...

Kim - oh god... yeah, and spanking is outlawed over here now.
Bec - your mother is a wise, wise, woman... I might have to adapt that tactic for my own needs