Thursday, 4 February 2016

The tale of the lock-out

Yesterday, at precisely 15.11pm, we went on a toddler walkabout.  This involves putting a pair of reins on a small child and letting them decide where to walk.  It's the sort of thing you do when the weather is clear and the insides of your flat are closing in about you as the clock seems to stop ticking and the afternoon refuses to progress.  The whole 'good idea at the time' scenario.

The sun was indeed shining but it was cold and a brisk breeze huffed about happily as we slid the slide, roundabouted the roundabout and see-sawed the see saw, avoiding the myriad pieces of broken glass.  This took approximately five minutes which in toddler time must seem like an age as it is the generous amount of time they'll spend on a favourite topic.  Where next?  I had my bag, time needed to be killed so I let the toddler decide.

We walked along happily hooting and tooting at cars, vans, bikes and my personal favourite, buses. Naturally we had to stop to exalt happily the existence of each and so time began to march along. We dismissed the usual crossing place and instead took our lives in our hands to cross adjacent to the roundabout further along - it's ok, this is a designated crossing place seeing as the council were too idiotic to put one here and it's a busy pedestrian area with access to at least four schools.  More buses were admired.

On finally crossing the road the toddler thought the doctors surgery looked especially interesting but I managed to dissuade him, after all - you can never get an appointment.  It was at this point that the sun began dipping somewhat and the clouds began gathering.  The coolness became a chill and my thoughts went to dinner.  We had some sausages but nothing to go with them.  I decided to take partial control over the toddler walkabout, directing him to the hallowed aisles of ASDA.  On reflection, it is best not to take a toddler on foot into to an extremely large supermarket especially when they have multiple displays of glass bottle related products within swiping distance. Fortunately my reflexes were sharp and disaster averted.

And so it was we came to the self service checkout.  That denizen of hell or fast track bliss depending on your basic common sense skillset.  I scanned.  I reached inside my bag.  Empty.  No.  Wait.  It can't be empty, I'm stood at the self service checkout.  I check again.  And again.  Cold fear hits my stomach.  I don't have my purse.  Which means I don't have my keys.  I'm locked out!

Multiple apologies were made to the attendant who couldn't give a stuffed fig one way or the other about my predicament.  Did I want the things kept to one side?  Well - I looked at her face for a hint of mockery.  Nothing.  They are freezer items I explain gently.  I'll put them to one side for you she said moving on to the next hapless user.

I looked once more for the purse.  It definitely wasn't there.  Phone.  At least I have my phone.  My toddler was doing a complex infinity weave around my ankles involving much pulling, dragging, swirling and entangling.  Sweetie - Mummy needs a moment.  Can you just stay still for a second please?  Call the husband.  Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring.  Answer phone.  Godammit!

Assess the situation.  I have an empty bag and a phone.  No money.  No keys.  And possibly more importantly no nappies, wipes, juice or any other toddler paraphernalia because I thought it would be a good idea to come out without any of that to kill some time!!!!!!!!!!!!

After ringing and ringing and ringing, I take the two of us to the library and seek refuge amongst the green blaize flooring in the children's section.  No answer on the phone.  No answer on the text.  I try whatsapp.  I try my spare key holder.  She's out and about, it'll take her about two hours to get to us.  I put her on emergency standby.  I try not to cry.  My toddler empties the entire book cart.

And then, and then, a message.  I'm on my way.  The husband to the rescue.  We stagger out towards the foyer of the library and there he is.  Our hero.  We hug and smile and he pats his pockets. Dammit - I left my keys at work.

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