Oh I so wanted my first post back to be all about the idyllic summer we enjoyed, maybe stick in a few holiday pics, ease back into the online whirl. But no. I’m afraid not.
After one week back at school, my older daughter (I can’t remember the cutesy name I’m using for her here, and will prob have to make another one up, causing readers (hi there!) to wonder how many rhubarb progeny there are) has been complaining loudly about her new school shoes. And to be fair, they’re probably not the greatest fit, but I had rather hoped they would mould to her feet. Well, they didn’t. (and if you can use a size 31 pair of Richter girls’ shoes, just let me know) So it was off to Clarks after school.
Now, I don’t go to the most local Clarks after I had a run-in with the passive-aggressive assistant there last year (you know, the kind of woman who makes pretty mean comments in a reallly syrupy sweet voice) plus it usually has its doors wide open to the extremely busy road immediately outside, which is no good at all for Miss Small even when it’s her turn for shoes, which this wasn’t.
So I went to the shopping centre branch which is a little further away but much nicer. Alas, during the journey Miss Small did a wee in her car seat and I had failed to bring a change of clothes. BUT I had a parking space right outside the shopping centre doors. Go home or improvise? Dilemma…
Fortunately she was wearing a velour t-shirt with quite a stretchy neck (home-made!) so I stripped her off then got her to step into the t-shirt and voila! Skirt! Off we went to the shoe shop where the somewhat supercilious assistant spent quite a while patronising me about my poor choice of shoes for older daughter and explaining in great and simple detail how to make sure a shoe is fitting right.
“You made it through a whole year without getting new school shoes?” (incredulous) “I don’t think you’ll be that lucky this year” (small smile, admonishing tone)
Older daughter was loving the whole process, and took a long time in front of the mirror to decide. Finally she chose. Supercillious shoe shop lady painstakingly explained how she should wear them inside the house to check the fit, as shoes can’t be returned if they’ve been worn outside. We were within seconds of a purchase when disaster struck.
“Was that your daughter?” (pencilled eyebrows shooting into hairline)
And there on the carpet was a HUGE POO. With several small satellite poos. And a short trail of footprints leading away from it. To my daughter, in her tshirt skirt and pooey shoes, completely unaffected.
Supercillious patronising shoe lady went into overdrive. I was on my hands and knees trying to stop Miss Small from moving and spreading the trail any further while my older daughter took off the shop shoes and then started balancing my purse on her head. A carrier bag was proferred at arms’ length; “Put those shoes Straight In Here. I will bring you paper.” The shop, up til now completely empty, suddenly became the busiest unit in the mall and not one person met my eye.
I managed to clear up most of the poo while trying to physically restrain the potentially extremely poopy Miss Small and get older daughter to stop prancing around like Pollyanna (they automatically go into good cop, bad cop mode), got to the till to pay and exit. I had to sling Miss Small over my shoulder while she yelled to be allowed down and as I finished the transaction, received the final indignity – a man walked past, met my eye and pointedly shook his head.
I can never go back there.