Picture the scene. I’m off to meet a friend for a quick coffee slash lunch, between her arriving in Southampton via train and having to whizz off to the hospital for a meeting (she’s a medical type). I’m regrettably encumbered by my two children, which is a shame, although a pretty legitimate reason for “always being in coffee shops” (I’m not, dear reader).
We’re on the cusp of being late, but at the top of a long stretch of road devoid of retail, Mouse announces she needs a wee. Really badly wee is coming out NOW mummy, that sort of wee. I quickly consider my options. Hightail it down said road that eventually leads to shops, including a toilet-appointed Starbucks. Or, divert completely off course and duck in to the Common, thus reaching a loo quicker but making ourselves even more time pressed. I’m a witless fool and so I plump for the latter.
While she’s doing the biz (not the shizz, thankfully), I have a quick glance at Twitter. I’ve become a bit of an addict, a Twaddict if you will. I place my phone on the windowsill while I straighten the waistband on her trousers, orchestrate a handwash, and put the raincover on the pram as it was just starting to drizzle as we came in. We assume a fairly speedy trot back onto our charted course.
Fast forward approximately 20 minutes. I’d better just bob my friend a text to say we’re on our way and will be just a smidgey bit late. I have a quick one handed fumble (the best of fumbles, no?) in my bag. Sheeeeeeeet. You know what I’ve done. Bollocking shitty bollocks. I perform a quick pat down of myself, even though I don’t have any pockets, and ask Mouse hopefully if she’d happened to scale the 4ft wall and retrieve my phone before we exited the toilet. Fuck. My life is on that phone. This very blog that you’re reading now is entirely delivered from my phone. I’d better ring my husband and get him to text my friend….ah yes. No phone. We’d have to go back for it, obviously.
Mouse is two stone. Moo is almost one stone. The sodding changing bag is at least half a stone. The pram is probably two stone. I am…a lot of stone. As we progress across a slightly smoother path, I break into a tentative canter and feel like I’ve morphed into the dude from Run Fatboy Run. At the same time, I start to chant in a slightly manic fashion: “Please god, please let it be there. Please god, please let no one have taken it. Please god, please let it be there.”
“Who’s peas-cod mummy? What you said? Say a bit louder.”
I’m now so inane with exertion that I have to stop running and adopt a comedic power walk, while sweat patches form across my shoulder blades and my hair starts to resemble an electrocuted scarecrow. I can’t tell Mouse who peas-cod is because I can’t actually speak anymore. She picks up the chanting baton and sings to herself, “peeeeeas cod, peeeeeeeeeas cod.” It was her bloody pees that got me into this state.
We swing onto the cafe entrance path that houses the toilet block, narrowly cutting off a dog walker who mutters profanities at me. I’m momentarily tempted to indulge The Rage and admonish him for doing swears in front of my daughter, but in reality I really REALLY have to get my phone back NOW. I screech the pram to a halt and run into the toilet. No phone. Mega bad times. I dash back out to see one of the guys from the cafe beaming at me. “Yo!” he banters. Yo?! Do I look like I’m up for a Yo!
“You lookin’ for ya phone?”
(He’s so cocksure that I wonder if this is how he delivers his chat up lines in da club – “Yo! You lookin’ for a good time?”)
“Yes! Please say you’ve got it?” I appear to be simpering. Peas cod let it be here. He ducks into a cupboard. “Wallpaper?”
Jesus, I don’t know! One of the children, the home screen is a different offspring to the lock screen so it’s one or t’other. “Case? Colour?” He’s quite clearly dicking with me for lol’s, it must be a slow news day. I eventually manage to jump through his security hoops and the phone is released back into my sweaty grasp. I look like such a tit that I immediately conclude I can never set foot in there again, which is a bugger as it’s the only toilet within a million acres of green space.
I message my friend and offer to run the two miles back down to our agreed meeting point, which she seems alarmed by. We agree to convene halfway between our coordinates, which is ironically the very Starbucks I should have tried to dash to with Mouse in the first place. No windowsills or flat surfaces in their loo, you see. No handy phone depositories. But, conversely, no one in there to “Yo” me, either.
-SJW July 2016