Mia and I are at the supermarket checkout with a trolley brimming with shopping.
She is sat in the trolley while I unload the shopping onto the conveyor belt.
The supermarket is packed.
Mia is bored, and she’s restless which every parent will tell you is a Very Bad Thing.
“Look at that boy, mummy. Look, he’s got a dummy!”
The boy in question is sat in the trolley at the next cash desk along. And he’s about four years old.
She stares for ages. For ages.
I am WILLING her to stop as I’m fervently dipping into the shopping trolley as fast as humanly possible and unloading our stuff. I know exactly what she is thinking and I desperately want to get away before she says anything.
“That’s not right is is mummy? Dummies are for babies!”
She doesn’t say it quietly, and she’s not even saying it to me as she looking directly at the boy and his shocked mother.
Oh good heavens! I am willing my hair to grow about 15 inches instantly to cover my face and my glaring embarassment.
I can’t bring myself to look at the mum. I have no idea if she is mortally embarassed or raging angry.
“Why’ve you got a dummy?” she shouts over to the boy as I’m pretending there is something really interesting in the bottom of my handbag.
Then she turns to me, and without altering her volume button or with the slightest awareness of the acute embarassment she is causing all around her, says: “we think that’s pretty disgusting don’t we mummy?”