Monday, 13 July 2009

Man Oh Man

So, sorry if I sound a little muffled, I'm hiding under the duvet, way under the duvet, with absolutely no plans to come out until Jack turns three, which is in about a year so perhaps you should get used to this being my voice from now on, Husband always said I could do with a muffler.
Pre duvet-hiding I went to Sainsbury's to pick up the weekly shop and cry a little in the chocolate aisle, and a lot in the cake aisle, I then stopped crying in the Chardonnay aisle and bought myself a bottle, with a straw. Why oh why don't they sell wine in those handy cardboard cartons with an attached straw and convenient silver bit that hides a hole? If they can do it for juice surely they can do it with wine, it's not just kids that need pacifying during the weekly shop you know. I'm nothing if not resilient though, not to mention innovative, so until someone comes up with wine-to-go I make do with a bottle and a straw. The management don't seem to mind, by the time I get to the till I'm a sucker for an impulse buy so they make more money I suppose.
Anyway, it was a normal day, Jack was sitting prettily in the trolley stuffing biscuits down his face and generally signalling to everybody that I had no control over my child so I had to feed him rubbish to get a chance round the shops. Then again, the wine bottle and straw number may, just may, have detracted from this glaring bout of bad parenting. Who cares about a biscuit stuffing toddler when mummy+straw+bottle= glaringly obvious gap in the market for mini wine cartons, get to it someone, please.
Where was I? (you see, this is where a bottle of wine ruins things, imagine how much more succinct and focused I'd be if I'd only had a carton). Ok, Jack in the trolley, yes, and at this point I should remind you that he's now two and talking well. I don't mention him often, mainly because between Husband and Twizzle I have enough material for an entire psychiatric conference, let alone a weekly blog post, so he tends to fall by the wayside.
Jack, in a nutshell, loves men. He wants to do men's work, dig, lift, carry, scratch, drip on the loo seat, you name it if Jack sees a man doing it, he wants to copy. Not only does he want to copy but he has also decided that Every Man In The Known Universe must be pointed out and confirmed in his gender with a loud shout of Man! which is fun as you can imagine. He approaches every new situation with assumed bionic eyes and assures each male present that he has been seen and noted, I am looked at suspiciously as the mother of this gender reassuring service provider, as if I am using him as some kind of cheap but effective dating service (which I'm not, but if I was I'd take him somewhere far more expensive than Sainsburys).
The only problem with this little hobby, and it was a problem that was about to rear its short back and sides head, is that Jack isn't too hot at discerning a man from a woman with short hair. Imagine then the scene, Jack replete with biscuits, Mummy humming gently sipping her bottle of wine, slight tear stains from the inner fight in the cake and chocolate aisles, and a woman with short hair examining cornflakes in the cereal aisle. Round the corner we come, Jack on red alert for any man type activity taking place, only to spy one, one with cornflakes in his hand, one that's wearing a skirt. Lord above, she was trying her best, she may have had rather short and manly hair (and features if I'm honest), but she was giving it her all by signalling her femininity using that bastion of womanhood, the skirt.
Oh please Jack, I thought, please notice the skirt, please just this once. But no, Man! he yells, pointing sturdily at the woman, Man mummy Man! Mummy at this point ducks her head in shame over the Chardonnay and mutters something about having seen a man in the previous aisle and would she like a sip of wine? No? A makeover perhaps? (come on I was half a bottle down).
Oh the shame, the pain on her face, imagine standing in the supermarket, innocently examining a cornflake packet, only to have your gender woefully misinterpreted and loudly proclaimed by a toddler with a pointy arm. Oh dear.
But then, Jack did a strange thing, something he had never done before and which forever more I'd wish that he'd done just ten seconds previously instead of now. He noticed the skirt. I noticed, he pointed, I gripped the trolley and ran round into the ice cream aisle, just as the loud refrain of why man wear a skirt Mummy? drifted thickly over the cereal. I peered round at the devastation that we had left behind, and quietly rolled a bottle of Chardonnay towards her trolley. With a straw.

42 comments:

jinksy said...

As a short haired lady who has experienced this from behind the cornflake packet (or similar) I can assure you it was taken in good part! Equality of the sexes needs recognising - if only by a baby!?!

Kristina P. said...

Oh no! I'm sure they weren't offended. Much.

A Confused Take That Fan said...

My daughter likes to shout daddy at any man that passes. This causes both him and his female companion to look in horror at each other. I love it.
Were you wearing your nightie to do this shop? It's just I have an image of you with wild hair, drinking wine, tear stained cheeks and a nightie, with your day release man on standby.
V funny post as always MH x

Dingo said...

Aaaah, if only I had Jack with me when my friends and I went to the Gay Pride Parade last week. The gender bending would've blown his little two year old mind. And you would've had a lot of questions to answer when I sent him home. But I would make sure you had some nice little juice boxes of wine to help you. Deal?

Tara@Sticky Fingers said...

My daughter used to shout: "oi lady" or "oi man" (always always at the top of her voice) to any shopper when we were in the supermarket.
Then one day there was a midget or dwarf shopping just ahead of us (I kid you not).
Just as we're approaching him she starts to stare and he spots us and is really chatty and lovely and is saying hey to Mia and aren't you helping mummy etc etc.
As he's walking away she says (very loudly) to me: "what was that mummy?"

The Peach Tart said...

Wine in a barjuice box with a straw....I wish I'd thought of it.

rosiero said...

I cringed with you!!!

Sunny said...

I don't know which is funnier... the case of mistaken gender identity, or your running commentary on the situation. Thanks for the laugh. :)

The Sagittarian said...

Hilarious! I recall being on a bus one day and a woman with curtain-climber got on, they say not too far infront of me. I saw the child lean over and whisper to mummy, who promptly told the whole bus how rude it was to whisper and if "Crutain climber" had something to say then he should say it out loud. Child blinked. Then pointed at a very large woman about two seats in front of him and announced "Look, mummy there's a really fat lady"....

Red said...

Hilarious!

Don't you sometimes wish you were a todler again so that you could get away with saying the first thing that comes into your head (and you had total and utter control over your primary caregivers)?

spitandvinegar said...

I'll back you up on the mini wine box idea, my kids can read either apple juice or wine... kind of. My daughter once asked one of my older smoker lady friends why she talked like a boy. I told her that wasn't a nice thing to say but then laughed for hours afterward.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

I used to say, "you can't fool a dog or a child" . . . until this post.

I share in your mortification. Once, when my son was about five (maybe a little younger), a black-as-night South African man wheeled us out the door of the grocer. And my son asked, loudly, "why are you so black?"

And I've had my share to boot. "Why are you so big when you get under water" my younger cousin once asked me.

Aaargh.

Boyfromoz said...

Jack would have a field day if he were to bump into Rural Villager - she NEVER EVER wears a skirt,has shorter hair than me, is taller than your average bloke & built like a tank! But then, as her brother, I'm a tad biased - she'd probably terrify him!
Pip Pip!

Zip n Tizzy said...

At 3 I thought that only women could chew gum.
I remember studying a man my dad knew for quite some time wondering how she'd (he'd) grown a mustache.

SandyCalico said...

Hilarious!
Wine cartons are a great idea, off you go to Dragon's Den!!

Nota Bene said...

Those damned transvestites...all over the bloody supermarket. What an observant lad you have.

Tammy Howard said...

And - ta da!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12374800/

They sell these at my Target. You have to steal a straw from the kids juice box, though, it's not attached.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Oh thank you, such a good laugh on a terrible morning.

If it's any consolation, my son, aged 3, asked my sister if she was a boy or a girl. She has short hair and is very thin. Then, since she was wearing a bikini, he followed it up with by saying that she should put some clothes on, one doesn't run around in their underwear. She and I have never had a great relationship and you can imagine this didn't help things much.

Good luck with the wine-in-a-juice box. I wish I could drink, it would make mothering so much easier.

Christine

Mud in the City said...

Lovely.

Mind you, I do remember a drunken incident at University when I asked a 'Man' why he was queuing the ladies loo.... Oops!

Suzanne (TheJoyfulChaos) said...

oh, my, you have me laughing so hard!

mini wine boxes, it is just what we need!

bluecottonmemory said...

If you're going to have short man-hair, then you need to take the kiddy comments in stride. What a hilarious blog! How's this for southern: A hoot of a read! LOL

Clare W said...

That was so funny and so reminiscent!

Danielle said...

Hey, if you ever find you way to Colorado, we can go into buisness together and make winey boxes. I LOVE the idea.

Hit 40 said...

Wine in a juice sized box!!! Excellent. You could make a mint with this idea.

forever folding laundry said...

OK, you are seriously FUNNY! This really had me laughing. I'm glad you found my blog. I'll be back here. :)

~Keri

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

YEs! My 2 year old is not the only one! yes! This story totally made my night. From under my covers, naturally. Luckily, MINE turns 3 in a month.

Susie said...

Out of the mouths of babes, our embarassment is born:-)

Deb said...

I must remember to have no liquids in my mouth when I come visiting here since I now have to wipe my monitor clean after I laughed out loud really loudly and sprayed my wine everywhere! Excellent post - again!

http://reluctantmemsahib.wordpress.com said...

completely brilliant and fabulous and funny. i'm so sorry for your mortification but the gender reaffirmation service is just too good. x

Lora said...

I've been there. Several times. It doesn't help that we have so many drag queens around so I thought it would be wonderfully tolerant and progressive to teach my child that yes, sometimes men do dress like women.

Now every short haired girl in a skirt gets a "pssst- mommy. is that a boy or a girl?"

argh.

thank you for stopping by my Urbanity blog so I could find you here! I love what you have to say!

JennyMac said...

haha...Jack! Did you at LEAST give that woman a sip of your wine? LOL.

Jen said...

I hear you. But I want to hide until my youngest kids are 4.

Kathy B! said...

Bwahaha! You had me doubled over with this one. I love the dry way you serve up your stories...

WhisperingWriter said...

I would love Cosmos in a juice box. That would be just awesome.

The Blonde Duck said...

I would be hiding under there with you.

Helene said...

Oh you are just brilliant!! The whole wine-in-a-box with a tiny straw is such a fantastic idea!! You better get in touch quick with a rep to help you design it before someone steals that idea!

Do you even realize how many Moms would be running to their local stores to purchase a case of those??? I'd be the first in line.

Evansmom said...

This had me laughing out loud. The wine in a box would be a big cellar, I just know it.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Synergy Girl said...

First, I suppose I will address the "wine-in-juice-box" theory...while wildly brilliant, I am concerned that the acohol may eat away at the flimsy plastic/cardboardy frame of the juice box....but there MUST be another way!! Second of all, I do believe it is a child's lot in life to do the most unexpected, most undesirable things at the UTMOST inopportuned time!!! AHHH!! I think it just helps us get out of the "I care what people think of me" zone so that we can all grow up to be crass old people with no patients...cause after all...didn't we put up with enough raising humans?? I loved the story, and related ALL TO WELL...

Jen said...

You are a genious - think of the money you could make with the wine juice-box? Although I'm sure the 'law' over here in the states would frown on such a thing. I'm so glad you stopped by my blog, I'll be following you now :)

Mamma Po said...

At my son's 2nd birthday party last weekend, after all the kiddy drinks were poured out, there was a brief silence as the assembled waited for Birthday Boy to begin. He raised his glass and with a booming voice shouted out, "Cheers!"

I hung my head in shame and muttered something about not really being an alcoholic. Honest. Hic.

Summer said...

OMG I died laughing. Mainly, because I can relate. I have a two year old and one year old who drive me to drink quite often. lol.

Aunt Cindy said...

I see someone else posted, but here are more wine in juice boxes http://www.yumsugar.com/237981

I say, they've made wine in a convenient box for years. It's just like a really big juice box! It's a bit cumbersome to carry around... maybe it would fit into the baby sling. The 2 year olds are too big for those, right?