The boys are asleep and Mr. Waffle has taken the Princess to the supermarket. He is a hero. Sometimes going to the supermarket with the Princess is fine. But sometimes it is as described below. Please note that this piece was written before the sad loss of Travel Doggy.
In the car park:
Her: Waah, waah, I want to bring travel doggy into the supermarket.
Me: No, honey he might get lost.
Her (pink in the face): Loud, snotty, tears.
In the supermarket:
Her (sob): We should have brought a doudou for me for the supermarket.
Me: We certainly should but, instead, ahem (searches in handbag) would you like to play with my diary?
Her (sob): No.
Me: I know, how about a biscuit.
Her (miraculous and instantaneous end to sobbing): Yes please Mummy.
Me: OK, here are these fabulous Winnie the Pooh biscuits (noting they are bagged 2×2 and resigning myself to the inevitable) and you can have two!
Her: Mummy, I’m thirsty.
Me: Would you like a bottle of water.
Her: No, I want milk.
Me: OK, here’s a carton of milk with a straw.
Her (opens delightedly and takes one sip): No, I don’t like.
Her (eyeing dairy product aisle): I want a yoghurt.
Me: But you don’t like those yoghurts.
Her: But I’ll like them this time, I promise.
Me: But you won’t.
Her: But you said that, if I don’t like cheese one time, I, I, I might like it another time.
Me: Oh alright.
Her: Can I open it?
Me: No, it’ll make a terrible mess.
Her: I only opened one Mummy.
Me: But see you can’t eat it, you need a spoon.
Her: We should have brought a spoon, Mummy.
Me: To the supermarket? Don’t be daft.
Her (with inexorable logic): But how am I going to eat my yoghurt?
Me: Have another biscuit.
Her: I want to do a wee.
Me: Of course you do. Come on, we’ll leave the trolley here and go across to the Quick and use their toilets. [Insert run across the car park followed by sneak into burger joint toilets]
Return to trolley. Join queue.
Her: Can I have a go on Mr. Turtle?
Me: OK, but just one go while I’m paying for the shopping, ok [hand over a euro]?
Child skips off happily. Loading shopping takes ages. Preemptively hand over another euro.
Her: But you said just one go.
Me: I lied. Go again.
Her: But why?
Me: I like my parenting to be consistent. Go again.
Pack everything in car, return home one and a half hours after departure, a shadow of my former self.
Oh, the joy of the toddler/supermarket combination. And the inevitability that at some point, even though you know from experience they don’t like those yoghurts/cheesy string things/juices, you are going to be worn down by their insistence that they do, just so that you can get out of the supermarket at some point in the near future.
Sadly, I am too mourning the loss of Travel Doggy, I don’t know why, I never met him (as far as I know). Is there no hope of a replacement? Perhaps you could buy a similar toy and pass him off as a cousin. I don’t know whether you’ve read “Ratty Tatty” by the fabulous Helen Cooper – a lovely story that might give you inspiration (for justified parental deceit – although I suspect the Princess is too canny for that).