While reading Wifey's post for Saturday I was reminded of some of the not so pleasant public experiences I've had when out with my Mam's Goddaughter. I'm not going to post the one simular to Wifey's... It was very nearly identical anyway, so there's no point. But I thought I'd share a couple of them with you. Shireen is now 10 years old (today is her 10th birthday) and these happened when she was between the ages of 3 and 5 years old.
I took Shireen to town to run some errands with me. Jackie (her mother) needed some done too, so she gave me her bag to go run her errands while I was out so that she wouldn't have to do them later.
Picture the scene:
I walk in to a crowded shop. Shireen (aged 3) is in her pushchair with her mother's bag on the back of it, which also contains my wallet. I pick up the required items and go to pay for them. The items in question are for Jackie, so it's her purse that I pull out of the bag. I'm just pulling it open to remove some cash when...
Shireen: Hey! That my Mummy's purse! You not allowed to touch!
Me: Shhh... Mummy knows I've got it
Shireen: I tell Mummy! You not allowed!
I go to hand the cash over the top of the pushchair, and two little hands come up and snatch at it. So she's clinging to the money while I'm trying to pry her little fingers off without hurting her (which, by the way, isn't as easy as it sounds).
Me: Come on, Shireen... Give me that. I want to pay and get out of here!
Shireen: No! My Mummy's! You not allowed!
Me: Mummy knows I have it... It's OK! Give me it, please?
The argument progresses something like that for a few minutes. Meanwhile - un noticed by me - the cashier has called security.
To cut a long story short, I had to phone Jackie to have her verify that not only was I allowed to have and use her purse, but I was also allowed to have her child.
When Shireen was about 4 years old she developed an obsession with the movie "Matilda"... She watched it so many times she knew it word perfect, but still she "had to" watch it again, and again, and.... You get the idea!
Well, I don't know how it works in Canada and the USA, but over here children are free on busses until they reach their 5th birthday. Shireen's age was often questioned once we stopped using the pushchair, however, because she's always been big for her age.
So, picture this...
I get on the bus and show my disabled bus pass.
Bus driver (pointing at Shireen): What about her?
Me: She's only 4
Bus driver: She's a big 4
Me: I know
Shireen: I'm not 4. I'm 6 & 1/2! I was 6 in August! I told you, I was supposed to start school in September! (An almost word perfect line from "Matilda")
Me: You're 4 years old
Shireen: 6 & 1/2!
Bus driver: So, which is it?
Me: She's 4 years old!
Bus driver: She's says she's 6 & 1/2!
Me: She's obsessed with the movie "Matilda" and is quoting a line from it. I'm telling you, she's 4 years old!
Bus driver: You sure?
Bus driver: Really?
Me: Look! She's 4 years old... If you want I can phone her mother to verify!
After a few more minutes of arguing the people behind me were getting impatient. I was getting nowhere (and Shireen's constant "I'm not, I'm 6 & 1/2" was NOT helping!)
Eventually, however, another woman with a child came to my rescue saying that:
Woman: You're going to believe a child over an adult? You know what imaginations children have! Surely - even if you haven't got kids - you've heard some of their nonsense while driving the bus!
There were a few muttered agreements, and the bus driver decided to admit defeat and allow me to take her on the bus free of charge.
Whenever we got on the bus and sat down, I always told Shireen to "hold tight"... One day she learned why I say that (this happened some time between the other two).
The bus was FULL (and I mean it... The only seats left were the two Shireen and I took). And we had seats right at the front of the bus... Directly behind the driver. These particular seats face sideways. So...
Me: Now sit there tidy, and hold on tight!
Shireen: Why you always say hold on tight?
Me: Because if you don't you'll fall
Shireen: No... Wont! I big girl!
Me: Even big girls fall sometimes
Now, it's very important that you know I was sat sideways on my seat, only balanced on the edge, and not holding on... I was too busy making sure she was.
Me: So, hold tight, OK?
Just then the bus went round the corner (luckily just as Shireen had grabbed the bar beside the seat tightly). I, however, as I've mentioned, was NOT holding anything.
You can guess what happened.
Yep, I ended up on the floor.
I got up as quickly as I could, but - of course - everyone had noticed, even the bus driver.
Bus driver (laughing): Maybe you should hold on too?
Me (to the bus driver): Shut up!
Shireen: That why hold on?
Me: Yep... That's exactly why you should hold on!
(Meanwhile, the whole bus load of people is in hysterical laughter)
Shireen: Me hold on! Me hold on tight! Me not fall like you!
Me: Good girl
Shireen (giggling hysterically): You fall! I tell Mummy and Auntie Ka... You fall! You funny!
Not only did she tell them... She told EVERYONE she met. She still tells people from time to time now.
And, of course, both Shireen and that bus driver (and a couple of the passangers who witnessed it) took great delight in reminding me every time I got on the bus for about the next year to "hold tight, remember?"
The only good thing is... To this day Shireen holds VERY tight to a bar while sat on a bus. So tightly, in fact, her little knuckles are white from gripping that bar.
OK, this next one happened one weekend shortly before I went over to Canada... Shireen would have been about 4 & 1/2 years old.
We were in a cafe, with bags of stuff, drinks, food... You get the idea. And, because Shireen had spotted a friend from school out with her mother we were sat with them.
Anyone who's been around kids of that age know how quiet they aren't.
Shireen: I need to go toilet!
Me: OK... Do you need to go bad or can you wait until we're done?
(She could always hold really well).
Shireen: I need to go bad... I need a poo!
Me: Er... Right
Shireen's Friend: And I need a pee!
Shireen's friend's mother: I'll take them if you want... If you watch my bags
They go off to the toilets, and I sit quietly drinking my drink while I wait for them to come back. The cafe was quite busy (and somehwere they knew me well by my given name) and Shireen had recently learned my name was "Victoria" not just "Tori" so, of course, was using it every chance she got.
So, all of a sudden this little voice shouts over the noise of the rest of the customers...
Shireen: I did it Victoria! I had a REALLY big poo! And it was SO smelly!
Everyone went silent and looked from her running back to me with a big grin on her face, to me sitting there, red faced and wishing I'd taken her somewhere they didn't know me, or taken her to the toilet myself... Or both!
Those are the main ones that stand out. Embarrassing in different ways to Wifey's, but still embarrassing... And never going to be forgotten (especially now I've told you guys... LOL!)