It’s my view that somewhere, way up there, is a higher power, whose job it is to keep us parents in check. To ensure we don’t become too smug, too comfortable or too complacent. It’s for this reason that once you stop for a second, congratulate yourself for a job well done or a parenting catastrophe avoided, an inevitable disaster will follow.
Very recently, I made it to the checkout at the supermarket with both of my children still in my sight (actually, they were both still in the trolley. Double win!) I managed to employ Monkey as my trolley-unloader and a whole weeks’ shopping was subsequently packed into ridiculous plastic bags. Shopping packed. Children still behaving. And me, smug. Somewhat jubilant. Planning a celebratory Facebook status update.
“That’ll be one hundred and whatever pounds, please” said the cashier. “Do you have a Clubcard?”
“Yes, I do.” I said. Feeling a bit like one of those organised and together mothers that you see. You know, the ones who don’t forget their re-usable carrier bags and don’t let their children play with their iPhones to keep them quiet in shops.
“My Clubcard is right here, in my…….ohhhhhh”.
At this juncture I felt I deserved extra parenting points for not swearing.
My purse was not in my handbag. I was at home. In the kitchen. On the floor, just where Madam had been playing with it.
So, back in the car we went. Of course, a thunder-storm of biblical proportions had commenced during our time in the store. Of course, we weren’t parked anywhere near the entrance to the store either, thanks to several builders taking up residence in the designated parent-and-child spaces. Of course, we weren’t at the supermarket closest to home. Needless to say we hit the school-traffic. It goes without saying that screaming and crying ensued. From all three of us, in fact.
But I learned a lesson that day: Never get too smug as a parent.
And always check that you have the means to pay for your groceries.