Some of my most humiliating moments happen in BiLo. This week we were shopping. I was frazzled, achey, in a hurry and like a wily animal, Ivy could smell my need for her to behave. Things started badly when I didn't have a $2 coin for the trolley, and had to put her in one of those tiny-baby bucket seats. Halfway through the list She Who Must Be Obeyed started begging for milk, so I grabbed a chocolate Moove to buy some love, but made the rookie mistake of letting her hold the bottle. Fool! Fool!
Only moments passed before she up-ended the whole thing. Filled the bucket seat. Overflowed onto the floor. The shopping. My handbag. Much wailing followed, Ivy's ear-piercing; mine just as loud, but inside my own head, like all the other voices. I pulled her out, transferring chocolate milk in great sloppy gushes onto my white top.
Ivy already had a welfare-baby look about her. Last weekend she threw a sudden, inexplicable tantrum playing in the car and headbanged the steering wheel so hard she honked the horn and left a bruise on her forehead. The brown stains, wet pants and screaming just completed the picture really.
Shopping over. To the till, to compound the humiliation. My card bounced and I had to ring Keith to get him to transfer cash into my account. 'Help at register 4 please,' called the the checkout girl. 'This customers gotta ring her husband to get enough money to pay.'
'He's not my husband,' I wanted to add. I don't think it would have helped.