It all began with 'The Dog'. Anyone who has ever been to a supermarket will have seen the faded plastic guide dog at the front of the store where you can leave donations. I get the attraction for young children;
1) They can slobber all over a dog for a change instead of the other way around.
2) The lure of being able to shove something (like Mum's hard earned) into the top of it's head is irresistible.
3) It's a big adventure to escape from the evil clutches of the woman who has had you captive in the trolley seat for the last twenty minutes.
Ashlee has been allowed to visit 'the dog' on the occasions I can get a checkout close enough to keep an eye on her. I give her a few coins and off she merrily trots to say hi and to hear the rewarding CLUNK of a couple of ten cent pieces hitting the pile of money inside.
This time I wasn't so quick. She was off like a rocket before I could unzip my purse for those precious coins, and another little girl was already giving our plastic friend a belly full of change. This, of course, reminded my little darling that she was empty handed, and she started back to grab her coins. In the few seconds it took me to place another few items on the conveyor belt and look up again - she was gone.
My heart jumped into my throat as I started scanning the front of the store, my voice broke as I started calling for her. In what felt like ages, but was probably more like thirty seconds, the lady in line behind me said "oh, here she is." She had wandered down the wrong register back into the store to try and find me, and was quite calmly explaining that she had forgotten her 'nummy' for the dog.
By this time I felt like every eye in the store was on the 'mother who's child ran off on her ' (read ME.) Of course I didn't help my cause by the blurting of
NEVERDOTHATTOMUMMYAGAINin a semi hysterical voice just loud enough to be picked up by the astronauts on the space station. Of course Ashlee took it all in her stride and explained to me like I was the two year old "nummy, dog, Mummy".
If it is possible to burn rubber with a trolleys tyres, thats what I did and hightailed it out of there, but next time I hear a parents' 'never do that again' shout - I'm blaming the dog.
** My apologies to Guide Dogs Australia for the use of this image to illustrate my crappy parenting skills!