I believe my mother would say that her most embarrassing memory of me as a toddler was when she was holding a posh dinner for my dad, his boss and assorted VIPs, she thought we were in bed, and I ran downstairs in my PJs yelling, ‘Mummy, what’s this? WHAT ARE THESE FUNNY WHITE THINGS?’ I had somehow found her tampon stash, unwrapped a couple, and was swinging them round like a couple of yoyos in front of all these serious suits.
How you rescue that, and yourself, I have no idea – but my mum is a funny lady and I’m sure she just giggled, made a joke, put me back to bed and got on with it. I never really thought much about that story, but it was payback time recently when I took Charlie Bear for a little pre-Christmas shopping.
Yes, I know. Pre-Christmas shopping. A mall. With a toddler. I. Am. An. Idiot.
We’d only been shopping a short time when I realised I was busting for the loo. I try to never be busting for the loo when I’m shopping with Charlie. If you’ve ever tried to fit yourself, a baby and a Bugaboo in a standard shopping centre toilet stall AND do a wee without incident you’ll know where I’m coming from.
But this time, there was no getting around it. We needed a loo, and as luck would have it, this particular mall had a family changing room. Oh joy!
We zipped into the big family loo, the frosted glass door closed, I pressed the ‘lock’ button and let Charlie Bear roam around while I hopped on the loo.
There wasn’t much to amuse Charlie, so naturally he gravitated back towards the buttons. And since he’s grown A LOT since the last time we were in the family loo, and since the mall fuckers who designed the family changing room conveniently decided to install the buttons at toddler height, he of course went straight for the big green ‘Open’ button.
“Don’t you push that Boo,” I said warningly.
He looked at me, giggled and smashed his fat little hand onto the button.
There is really nothing you can do when, mid-wee, your kid opens a huge frosted glass door and reveals you, knickers around your ankles, to a rather large crowd of mothers and fathers with prams, babies, toddlers and older children. Many of whom looked struck dumb with shock, although a few of the kids helpfully pointed at me just for anyone who hadn’t spotted the lady sitting on the loo a few metres away.
“Hello,” I said cheerily to the group, not really sure of the correct thing one says in such a situation.
No one said anything – although there were a few titters of mirth – and mercilessly, Charlie pressed the close button and the door slowly – oh, so slowly – slid closed on my shame.
“Don’t you dare do that again! Mummy is on the toilet!” I hissed at my naughty 15-month-old, who of course didn’t get it and couldn’t wait to do it again.
“Charlie NO!” I tried not to yell.
It was no good. He had pressed the green button again.
The door slid open again, revealing me again, knickers around ankles, weeing, families looking on in shock, etc etc.
I had nowhere to go a second time so I just started giggling uncontrollably and put my head in my hands.
By the time the door closed for a second time, I had finished, leapt off that loo like a woman possessed, washed my hands, straightened my outfit, strapped my ratbag child into his pram and attempted to exit the loo with the minsicule amount of dignity I had left.
But really, there is no holding one’s head high when so many people have seen your knickers. Twice. Target / Kmart / etc could wait, we were going home so mummy could have a cup of tea / bottle of tequila and try to forget this particular shopping trip had ever happened.
Needless to say, I will never be going shopping with Charlie and a full bladder ever again.
What’s the most embarrassing thing your child has done?