Anyone who has spent more than ten seconds in the company of pocket sized human monsters we lovingly call children, know that they are a delight when they choose to be. I say this in the most positive sense because most often they opt to be quite un-delightful. Especially if there is chocolates, action figures, or blingy stuff involved. Then they are opinionated, unstoppable, know-it-all little autocrats who can turn our worlds and hearts upside down with a single sniffle.
The idea for this post came to me as I stood frozen, my face a nice mottled shade of red at the check out of Coles Supermarket the other day. The reason for my plight was none other than a certain five year old whose life mission is to land me in hotspots just for giggles.
So there I was, exhausted from a shopping trip that should only have taken me five minutes max, but somehow turned out to be thirty five minutes. In that time, I had circumvented aisles full of Yokai and Marvel figures, patiently answered a million “Why” queries, fought my way through lollies section and damn near pleaded for mercy before freezers filled with Ice-creams. Needless to say, I was at my wits end. Still I battled on, like a trouper. I almost made it to the finish line without a display of hissy fit and waterworks. Victory was just within my reach.
Then to my horror, I saw a shelf to my right, rows after rows of of Kinder eggs, neatly displayed to lure little imps. I hoped, I prayed, I begged that it would go unnoticed.
I won’t explain in detail what followed next. But here is a summary:
The de-escalation techniques I learnt at a particularly painful parenting session- Useless garbage that got zero response.
Attempts to defuse the situation- Total failure
Number of dirty looks from can’t-be-bothered shoppers- Too many to count.
In the end, I gave in. Waved the white flag in surrender and bought the eggs.
You might think that was the end of it.
As I was paying, the little dude saw the shelf full of magazines next to the checkout lady. He leaned forward, grabbed one with the picture of a half naked, busty young girl entangled with a very muscular hot guy at front. It wasn’t a porn mag, but the images were explicit. Then my darling proceeded to announce for all world to hear. “Do you want it? Isn’t this the kind of pictures you always look in your computer?”
I wished the floor would open up and swallow me in whole.
The ninety year old lady with a zinger frame behind me tsk-tsked at me. She muttered something like, “Watching filth in front of little ones. People like you should be whipped.” Or something to that effect. I tried to explain to her that I was a writer and the pictures my brat mentioned were cover pictures or book banners for my work. But she was having none of it. In the end, I hung my head in shame, pushed the trolley and walked away.
Life lesson #302 = In the battle between Kinder eggs and your pride, Kinder eggs will always win.