Silly me, this never occurred to me. Not one bit. Not at all. You see, the frequency that I visit shops since having children has declined in such a way that if you were to plot it, you would get a sort of inverse ski slope. I now do the vast majority of my shopping on the Internet; books, clothes, music, food and even make-up. In fact, I could probably live quite well without ever venturing outside of my house.
Occasionally needs must and it’s nice to have a little mooch about, which is what we did today. Now, there are a few toys which have been at times, the absolute bane of my life, a sort of living hell embodied in plastic, there was the Hound of Hell and now the Ben 10 Omnitrix. Now I have a new adversary the ‘child friendly’ shop without a toilet. Lets face it, Britain in 2010 is not the most child- friendly sort of place, and generally it seems to be standard practice to put the children’s clothes upstairs. This means that you can use even more electricity and contribute even more to global warming by having to use the lift. The lift is usually an old goods lift which has a few promotional posters stuck over the peeling paint with yellowing sticky tape. There is always a fit person with two legs wearing running clothing and trainers waiting to get into the aforementioned lift in front of you. They expand to fill every single centimetre of space, so that you can’t fit in with your pushchair as well.
Back to the point, a walk around the shops seems to bring on the wee in toddler boy and the motion of a lift brings it right to the point of explosion. Today he emerged from the lift in a large high street family friendly chemist hopping up and down with desire to wee. I asked the nearest shop assistant if there was any chance that he could use their loo. I explained the conundrum, that he was tiny, only just potty trained and was literally about to wet himself there and then. I was greeted with ‘sorry no’. I explained that he really was about to wet himself, he was visibly hopping and rocking. To no avail; ‘its more than my jobs worth…’ Arggggh! When did this happen? This total jobs worthy lack of common sense, empathy and customer service which seems to afflict most shop assistants. Anyhow, accidents remarkably didn’t happen, although I did try to get him to wee in the doorway (he refused and went for the alley way). I can see this lack of toilets in public spaces becoming a real pain in the proverbial arse.
With this is mind I am tempted to start another campaign, it shall be based on the novel but somehow reactionary idea of encouraging your toddler to wee in the doorway/ window of any large shop which sells children and baby products but does not provide an emergency toilet. There’s a lot of wee out there and a lot of shops which lack this fundamental resource. Anyone want to be campaign secretary?