It is true that a trip out to do any shopping is an interesting experience with William.
Will and I have it down to a fine art now and at 26 months old my darling little boy is entertainment for all he comes into contact with. From coo’s of ‘Oh isn’t he adorable’ to ‘Oh my, what a good little boy he is’ and lots and lots of ‘Aaarrrrrr, Look at his white blonde hair.’
On the very rare occasion I need to go to our local large department store I always have a plan of action, especially if I have to go in the evening after picking Will up from nursery.
Since Will eats incredibly well while he is at nursery, I am never worried about needing to get him fed quickly in the evening, which gives us time to drive across town, park and amble around the store for a few minutes before heading to the cafe for refreshment and nourishment for us both. A very large coffee for me, sandwiches and cake for us both to share and Wills choice of fruit, usually an orange and a carton of fruit juice or milk for Will.
He is accustomed to eating out, since I have made sure we have done it regularly since he was born. He knows he has to sit nicely in a high chair, shouting is not allowed and he is allowed to play with some toys or colour while waiting for food to arrive. I have never been apprehensive about taking him out to eat, simply because it is a natural thing for him and he knows exactly what is expected.
For many months now, Will has enjoyed drinking from a juice carton with a straw sometimes and got to grips with it very quickly, although the little straws that usually come on the carton are often too small and too bendy for him the control very well. I have often needed to swap the little straw with a bigger one to help him out a little.
Although, I now wonder if this is a good idea and after the events of a shopping trip last Friday I will be ensuring Will has one of his little cups from home to have his juice in.
You see that little juice carton can, it seems, can create no end of havoc.
My son was sitting beautifully to the table in the cafe with me on Friday evening, eating his eggy sandwich, munching on his cheesy crisps and devouring his piggy shaped biscuits and sipping on his raspberry and grape juice, with a big straw. We chattered about the things he had done at nursery, the things we needed to buy and what we would get up to over the coming weekend. Ladies sat at the table opposite cooed over Will, saying what a good boy he was, to which he batted his eyes and chattered back to them telling them all about his eggy sandwich and his new shoes.
The plan has always been that once we have filled our tummies, Will and I would retreat to the changing rooms for a nappy change and putting on of pajamas ready for bedtime when we get home, as often shopping is so boring Will falls asleep in his pushchair, or in the car.
I was prepared, and all was going well as I drained my coffee and encouraged Will to finish his juice and the last segments of orange. It was at that moment I realised, from the other side of the table, just how far a shot of juice squeezed from the center of a carton can travel. A single, fast-moving stream of deep purple, raspberry and grape juice exited the top of the long black straw, flew over the top of Wills right shoulder, and over the left shoulder of the elderly lady sat directly behind him. At this point the stream of juice began to loose height, speed and momentum and began to break into several large droplets. Each of these now bullet shaped gobs appeared to take a route of their own and have a plan of attack in mind. A number of them landed directly on the center of the table, some added flavor to the ladies jacket potato and salad and others, on a mission all of their own, had their sights firmly on the pristine white shirt of the ladies husband, who was sat the other side of the table from his wife.
Oh my GOD! Why do these things happen in slow motion, and why no matter how fast you move you can only watch in horror, as you feel your face flush with embarrassment, and your mouth spouts a pre-programmed script of apologies, offers of paying cleaning bills and the purchase of new meals or at least another drink. The shock of the dear elderly couple and gasps of surprise from on lookers from other tables was audible, and soon the whole cafe was looking at me and Will.
Will with his back to all of this seemed just a little confused as to what had happened in that split second, but on turning round in his chair he could see the result of his little squeeze. ‘Oh No! OTOH! Mummy, Juice there Mummy’
It was with a huge relief and rather a lot of surprise that as quickly as the juice had flown, smiles from the couple grew, giving way to a fit of giggles and a round of applause for Will’s perfect aim.
We left very quickly, shopped quickly and left the store very quickly. Again!!