And Now I Can't Go Back To The Co-op

{Unrelated pics of our GR being a goon, because it's her third birthday today, and we forgot. Arguably not the worst thing I've done today, though. Intrigued? Read on...}

It’s done a lot of strange things to my body, pregnancy. It’s turned a gas free zone into whatever the burping equivalent of a whoopee cushion is (thankful that the burps are not coming from the other end, however - small victories.) It’s flipped my taste buds on their tiny salt loving heads. It’s inflated my boobs from a 30D to whatever they are now, such that I actually feel them move from time to time, which I don’t like, and so no, in case anyone had ever wondered, I will not ever be getting a boob job. And, not least of all, it’s rendered me all but free of memory and intelligence in a number of everyday and un-profound situations, like a defunct Macintosh IMac G3 – one of the few unrealised love’s of my life - kept around for it’s pretty colours.

Now, when it comes to the deadened brain side effect, there have been some amusing, and not so amusing, mishaps. Usually, such situations arise within my own home, and are therefore manageable, leaving me needless of a carer of sorts to accompany me on my daily route. I’ll forget where I’ve put my husband’s debit card, for example, after inexplicably moving it from somewhere logical to somewhere bordering on bonkers – which is fine, because he has back ups. Or I’ll be unable to understand the punchline of a joke I’m told I would have previously found hilarious – which is also fine, because maybe it just wasn’t a funny joke? 

But today? Today something happened. Today, I went out on one of my regularly scheduled unsupervised trips – as I am prone to do, being an adult in a loving relationship and all - and left the contents of my head at home.

It started out innocently enough. After a busy morning, we decided to treat ourselves to a lunch date at Lottie's. It’s a cute little place in Belmont (Greater Manchester/Lancashire way) filled to the rafters with young mums and their babies, views over the countryside, and lemon San Pellegrino. We chatted about work and the such like and, after sandwiches and salads, headed home. It was upon walking through the door to our cottage that our little bubba had a good roll right on top of my bladder, resulting in the need for approximately my 10,000th wee of the day. Heading straight to the bathroom with not a word, I observed a veritable graveyard of empty loo rolls (don't judge me, it was a busy weekend and I pee a lot now), but not a sheet in sight. In silence, I picked up my purse, slipped on my shoes, and speed walked to the shop.

Living equal distance between two supermarkets means I have a choice of location when shopping, which would be an exciting prospect were it not for how badly stocked our local Sainsburys tends to be. (Yes that was intentional shade, sort out your stores Sainsbos.) With that in mind – plus the fact that my FIL likes to point out that the Co-op was there first and therefore deserves more of our business - I went to the Co-op. It was a short, uneventful journey, and I was soon at the aisle I needed. Considering how much pressure was now being applied to my bladder, I took a somewhat considerable amount of time doing something my husband has taught me to do in our bid to be more frugal – checking the price per roll under the price overall on every pack of loo roll available. Sometimes we get lucky and Andrex Shea Butter, the holy grail of toilet paper, is on offer, but not today. Today it was supermarket’s own brand. Which will be important later on.

Armed with the goods and deliberately bypassing the on offer chocolate aisle, I was absentmindedly headed toward the self checkouts, when something caught my eye: baby food. More specifically, ‘extra hungry’ formula, for your ‘extra hungry’ baby. This baffled me. For one, how is one to know if their baby is extra hungry, in comparison with a baby that is ‘normal hungry’? I thought. Is it a marketing ploy? Is it even good to assume your baby needs more feed than other babies of equal measurement? Has the world gone mad? Have I gone mad? Does my recent increased intake of hummus indicate a looming extra hungry situation, or have I really just been using my child as an excuse to vacuum up more hummus? Am I extra hungry? Have I given this too much thought?

I pondered this all the way home. Walked up the garden path. Pushed through the front door. Was within spitting distance of the holy grail (/loo.) And then disaster struck. No, I did not pee myself, though I wouldn’t blame you if you had thought that was where this was going. I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a fear of mine, especially at bedtime when my third wee since turning in has failed to empty the pipes. But no, as I say, I did not wet myself. But I did do something uncouth. Something unexpected. Something horribly embarrassing when you consider how long I spent smugly choosing the cheapest brand.

I stole the toilet roll.

Yes, you read that right, I am a criminal now.

I don’t know how it happened, and can hand on heart tell you that I have no recollection from the point of pondering that damn milk to the moment I was back on home soil. I don’t know how I managed to walk past the tills without thinking ‘better go to the tills,’ or how the purse in my hand didn’t make me think ‘time to pay.’ I don’t know anything at all, really, except that brazenly, distractedly, and with the ease of a seasoned pro, today I entered a shop within walking distance of my home, where I can be easily recognised, picked up what I needed, and walked straight back out without a backwards glance. And, inexplicably, I think I’m most horrified about the fact that I shoplifted the cheapest I could find – especially since at least two of the workers saw me studying the labels for an unreasonably long time - as though my exploits show me not just to be a pregnant woman/bumped bandit with a spot of baby brain, but a pregnant woman/bumped bandit with a spot of baby brain that HAS NO TASTE.

And now I have to go back and explain what I have done. Or simply never return to my favourite of the supermarkets, for fear of imprisonment… Because they lock you up for this sort of thing, don’t they? And I don’t want to imagine cost per roll of THAT toilet paper.

If only I’d picked up the Andrex. I can’t help but think I’d feel less unsettled…

… And less allowing of my pride to doom me to a life of Sainsburys.

Lottie xx


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