The Perils Of Eating Out With Children On Your Own

Disclaimer 1: This is my third self-imposed challenge post – I am not allowed to swear. Given the subject matter this is going to be a real challenge.

Disclaimer 2: Someone once said sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. It isn’t. Toilet humour is. I know what follows is neither big, clever or original but my Dad’s a carry on addict and I raised myself on Viz so I’m afraid you’re stuck with it. There is a sort of serious point I promise.

Do I look funny to you? DO I? DO I?

This Sunday Mrs S was running a nearly new sale. She was, in truth, carrying a back problem. The same back problem that lead me to have to take a couple of days off work because she could not pick up Baby. Or Baby’s vomit. Yes, she had had a dodgy tummy and 16 month olds do not know how to use the smallest room when they need to produce pavement pizza. I had been following her round with a roll of Plenty and a worried look for a couple of days, praying that the initial indication of a problem, round the back did not reoccur. This started on the Thursday and by Sunday she was all better and we were climbing the walls with cabin fever. So while Mrs S did her sale I took advantage of some truly lovely weather and took the kids out for the day.

First we went to the Brighton Wheel. This was a photo op as we also had the class mascot, Barney Bear, with us and he comes with a diary and a requirement to fill it with photos. Then we went to the Pier for some real fun. Suddenly it was lunchtime. I was in the mood for fish and chips but Boy insisted on Giraffe. Now from the pier to Giraffe is about a 10 minute walk for an adult but add in a buggy and a 5-year-old and its nearer 20. At 8 minutes and 34 seconds Boy decided he needed to point Percy at the porcelain. We ran. We just made it to Giraffe. The running had sent Baby to sleep in the buggy and now I had a problem. Boy will not go to the water closet by himself. I either had to make him before he wet his clothes or wake Baby up and carry her with us. The waitress (and this is why I am pimping them by name) took over and led him to the disabled loo and kept watch on the door. So Giraffe Brighton, thank you for being so child friendly.

However while Boy was doing his business I started worrying. He was now fine. I, though, had spent the early part of the morning downing orange juice and espresso and, just like my little charges I had not been before we left. Baby had a nappy. Boy was sorting himself out. But, If I needed to paint the town yellow I would once again have to abandon the children. This was clearly not an option. I was going to have to hold back the Yellow River with leg crossing and Confucian muscle control. And I’d just ordered drinks.

Luckily I have previous in this area. Between cricket tours, broken train toilets on the way back from away games and the time I seriously misjudged the train queue size coming back from Twickers I am a bit of an expert at holding in number ones. But something much worse was now lurking at the bottom of the cesspit that is my mind. The previous night we’d had a Chinese from a local takeaway. It does fantastic aromatic duck which is why we use them but I’m not sure about the quality of the rest of it. If I suddenly needed to drop the kids off at the pool I was going to be in for a whole heap of embarrassment. If I did suffer revenge of the takeaway it was likely to come on swiftly and with a great deal more chance of making the gravy than bangers and mash.

Daddy Pig is a bit of an expert at Confucian muscle control

An outwardly pleasant meal was becoming clouded by my inner terror. As the real bangers turned up for Boy I cut them up at the speed of lightning and willed him to wolf them. I demolished my burger in about 3 bites. Nothing was actually happening in the bladder or tummy department but I was metaphorically bricking it. The mains were cleared but of course, the reason Boy had spurned my Fish n Chips was because he wanted brownies. The food variety. We had to order pudding.

At this point Baby woke up. Baby always wakes up in time for pudding. It’s a girl reflex that I am mildly jealous of. She had missed mains and was currently spurning the emergency pouch. Her Sunday lunch this week was going to consist solely of biscotti and spare chocolate from mine and boy’s puddings. Luckily there was no NWO this time to judge my utterly rubbish parenting. We wolfed our puds, paid our bill and headed for the bus home.

Now buses bounce. And when you have had lots of orange juice and espresso, and a bottle of Coke and have not wee-weed in a long while bouncing is something you don’t need. I started to have the same feeling I did that fateful day at Twickers. Mr Bladder wanted to go on holiday to Empty City. The last 10 minutes of the journey were utter hell. Boy was counting to 100 next to me. Baby was yelling at the top of her voice at everyone. And all I could think of was ‘how quickly can I make him walk when we get off? Will he be as understanding to me as I was to him?’We reached our stop after what seemed like several eternities. We legged it home at the double. I let in Boy, marched Baby in still strapped in to the buggy, ran upstairs and pulled the same face Santa does at the end of “Father Christmas Needs a Wee”.

It was, in truth a lovely day out which the kids thoroughly enjoyed. But due to my absolute inability to plan every aspect it nearly ended in disaster.


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