Madmummy sits comfortably enjoying the wonderful relief of having done a long-awaited wee. Occasionally her eyes dart up, as Jabbermonkey points at the TV. “Look…mummy look!”, he says, as a butler is chased by a Basset Hound. The Aristocrats is playing for the 4th time this week and his little painted face is full of glee. The Hulk is lying on his front, pushing his bottom in the air and dribbling as he focuses on the screen.
That morning the Hulk had caught Madmummy sneaking out to work, leaving him with Daddykins. The usual dramatics had occurred. The desperate cries and stretching arms reminded her of the scene at the beginning of the first X Men film. (The one when Magneto’s mother is being dragged away from him into a prison camp). Her reassurances that she would be back did nothing to comfort him. She felt the familiar pang of guilt as she closed the door. She turned and strode on to the car. It had been 12 hours since she got back home and she was off to the office again. She was on the Saturday shift rota and was determined to do well. She was particularly eager to get there today, as she must leave on the dot of 12.30pm. Daddykins had an appointment in the afternoon and needed to transfer the children to her care as soon as her shift ended.
Madmummy raced down the staircase at 12.32, fairly pleased with her performance. The achievement had been made possible by denying herself a toilet break and staying focused on the screen for a solid 3.5 hours. She jumped down into the stairwell and looked up through bleary eyes, out of the glass doors. The familiar bottle green jackets, the big grins, the little hands pressing excitedly on the glass. Her children were ready to be exchanged and in an instant her brain flipped the switch from work-mode to mummy-mode.
A child in each hand, she walked swiftly through Tesco’s carpark in search of the illusive double-child-seat trolley. At the first trolley point she found one, but it refused to move. It was chained up, mocking her, as she glanced around the carpark like a meerkat scout. She spotted another trolley point, but there appeared to be only single-child-seated trolleys. She concluded that, if a supermarket didn’t provide the tools for those who with two children, then they would not be able to enforce any rules on trolly safety. She defiantly placed Jabbermonkey into the trolley and wrestled the Hulk into the seat.
Once in the shop Jabbermonkey was allowed to walk alongside. In her rush to work she had failed to write a list, and ambled around picking items as she recalled a need for them. She speeded up past the toy section and careered to avoid the many baskets of chocolate eggs. Jabbermonkey complained of being thirsty so she took a detour back to the fruit juices. She then remembered that she needed nappy bags and trudged back down to the other side of the shop. She looked at her watch, it was past 1pm. She opened the packet of juice cartons, and gave one each to the children. At the cash point she asked Jabbermonkey if he had eaten lunch. ‘No, I haven’t, he informed her, he had not had lunch at Nanny’s house, or mummy and daddy’s house. She ignored the growing urge and walked away from the toilets. She would pop to the lunch section, get the boys a sandwich, pay and go home for a wee.
As she made her way to the checkout she was accosted by a young lady at a table. She was promoted the Tesco Easter treasure hunt. Madmummy was handed a worksheet. She looked down at the 5 clues and across at Jabbermonkey. The lady informed her that on completion he would be given an activity pack and have his face painted like a rabbit. As Jabbermonkey is obsessed with Peter Rabbit he jumped like a bunny and begged to take part in the hunt. Madmummy looked at her watch and then at the Hulk. If she did the hunt she would have to take them to the café to have their sandwiches.
Back around the shop once more went the three clue hunters. After solving the second riddle, they journeyed to find hot cross buns. On the way down to the baking section the Jabbermonkey provided her with an in depth theology lesson, having learned about Jesus from his nursery that week. She circled a stand of hot cross buns for 5 minutes. Finally Madmummy found the clue, more than 12 feet from the hotcross bun stand. Mildly irritated, she read the next clue and sighed. In the cake section was where they found their third clue. As she feared Jabbermonkey was distracted from the hunt by the packets of minion cake mix.
The fourth clue lead them to the sauce section, and by this time the Hulk was beginning to show his hunger by grabbing anything in reaching distance. While she lifted Jabbermonkey up to read the clue, the Hulk added a packet of Supernoodles to the trolley. The final riddle said they must find an “Isle Choc-ful of eggs”. Madmummy walked down, scanning left and right for the seasonal goods. Puzzled and weary, she found her herself back the front of the shop. At this point Jabbermonkey began to complain that his feet were hurting and that he needed a wee. Madmummy was also getting uncomfortable, but was determined to complete the mission. It suddenly dawned on her that she may have mis-interpreted the riddle. She walked back the full leangth of the shop to the chicken eggs and found…nothing. Madmummy was feeling disheartened, as she walked back to hand in the incomplete worksheet. But then she spotted a crowd to her left. The Seasonal isle! She must have walked straight past. She shook her head as she smiled cynically. “How cunning.” she though “getting mummys to take their children to the one area they would usually try and avoid.” The hunt ended with 4 chocolate rabbits being added to the trolly. At last the trio returned to claim their prize. The nice lady painted a black nose and whiskers on Jabbermonkey and Madmummy was handed the Activity Packs.
Finally she paid for the shopping. Madmummy stored the trolley in a locker and sat the boys down in the café. She then realised, she could not leave them to get a coffee. The Hulk needed to be fed before he started to smash things, so Madmummy handed him an open packet of Monstermunch and opened the tuna sandwiches. Madmummy pulled out the slices of cheese from inside the Hulks sandwich, and dutifully licked the pickle off.
Jabbermonkey then declared that he needed a wee. He grew desperate very quickly and could not hold on. Madmummy had no choice but to pack the carrier bag back and the Hulk collapsed limply on the floor in protest. Madmummy flung him over her shoulder, grunting like a weight lifter. While carrying one deadweight son, and barking orders at her other, she made her way back to the toilets. She finally made it, and Jabbermonkey did his business. No sooner had the thought crossed her mind that she might seize the opportunity, a horrible sinking feeling hit her stomach. She had left her handbag in the café.
Having returned to find her handbag where she had left it, she decided that she definately deserved a coffee. She got out the big guns from the shopping bag. Two chocolate rabbits were unwrapped and given to the boys. She dashed to the counter and hastilly ordered a Latte. Her neck turned every 5 seconds to check that the boys were still happily munching away. On returning Jabbermonkey informed her of a disaster! Having chewed off the bunny’s ears he had decided to switch to the bottom. The choclate had collapsed and melted, and now his hand were sticky. His eyes were large and his hands pushed out in dramatised panic. “Look, mummy Look!” Madmummy smiled and, like a magician, she flurried her hands and opened her magic handbag. She pulled out the babywipes and gave one to each of them, instructing them to wipe their own mouths. Her inner voice congratulated her on being so well prepared for once, “good mummy, well done”.
Finally she sat and sipped her latte. She decides that eating one half of the mangled bunny was the only solution to avoiding more mess. After both boys had consumed their full, she handed out pencils and the activity pads.
This did not appease the Hulk who grew restless. Determinded to finish her precious drink, madmummy resorted to using the final weapon at her disposal, her IPhone. As she istened to the American voice reciting animals, another daunting thought pushed through her mind-fog. She was going to have to carry 3 bags and get the boys back to the car, which was still parked at her work. Getting across the main road, with two wild boys in tow filled her with trepidation. What if Hulk turned to Jelly on her? The consequences could be both embarrassing and dangerous.
In the carpark she lifted the bags out and bent down to Jabbermonkey’s eye level. With her most serious voice she explained the task at hand, the risks involved and the part he must play in the mission. This was to stay as close to her as possible and keep his ears open for her commands. Most importantly he must do EXACTLY what she said. So, with the Hulk’s hand firmly in her’s she gathered up the 3 bags and off they set. All the way she chanted her many positive affermations “well done boys, nearly there. Stay close, come on”. At the lights Jabbermonkey obediently pressed the button. The green man appeared , Madmummy’s jaw set and her grip tightened. Just before the curb Jabbermonkey decided he wanted to hold Hulks hand. The Hulk flailed his arm and cried out in disapproval. Madmummy held her breath as she felt his hand soften. “Don’t turn to Jelly on me, please”, she prayed. Finally they were across the road and she exhales. They made it!
In the car on the way home, Madmummy smiled to herself at all they hade accomplished. She would soon enjoy a well earned wee and a rest. Stepping through the front door Jabbermonkey informed her that he needed another wee. She rolled her eyes and smiled. She could wait a few more minutes.