This afternoon we dragged ourselves off to the shops for one last time to stock up on cheap vino to take back to the UK and to purchase a few delicacies for dinner tonight. As the frog was cooking for everyone, this meant small tubs of meaty things and tins of duck in fat; all on a par with the embryo that fell out of the spud's boiled egg at tea but that's beside the point; I was eating some fennel and green beans thank you.
The local Carrefour (if Carrefours can ever be 'local'; I've never been in one that couldn't quite happily fit a fleet of 747s) has an array of the below contraptions laid out temptingly right by the entrance. These are shopping trolleys disguised as cars: crack for little boys, in other words.
We dished out our 2 euro coins (now, distressingly worth a whole £2) and the spud clambered happily in however things went wrong fairly quickly. The trolley is a normal four-wheeler with a three-wheel Robin Reliant tacked onto the front. Crucially however, the car part has four fake wheels which spin uselessly in mid-air as you push the thing along. This, it seems, was Not Right.
First, the spud leant dangerously out of the car and started spinning the wheels, complaining that they were broken. He sat back down, still complaining because amazingly, it wasn't a Real Car and the frog hared off to another part of the shop where he wasn't being stalked by a madwoman and her screaming root vegetable. The the minute he rounded the end of the aisle, the spud started kicking off in earnest. First he thrashed about a bit in the car, whinging that he didn't want it anymore and threatening a screaming fit while I did that useless Mummy shushing noise. Then, he stood up with his head through the windscreen and started screaming that he wanted to get out. More importantly, I could see that his nose was running everywhere. We were attracting attention.
I dove into my bag for a wipe and he chose that particularl point to duck back down and make a break for it out of the door which had usefully been screwed shut. As I dug ever more frantically in my bag I saw him launch out and land on his face and then have hysterics in front of an enormous knot of elderly Frenchwomen. They immediately advanced on us clucking and oh-la-la-ing and giving me generally filthy looks as even though I had picked up the spud and was making the right sort of noises. I was still digging in my bag, clearly for a lipstick or perhaps a waft of perfume and had suddenly lost all command of French, leaving me totally defenseless.
It wasn't until I produced a wipe and started dabbing at his face that they backed off muttering darkly about Les Anglaises and I realised why they were so anxious. You see, yesterday in the playground he had fallen off a ride and done this:
...and we had brought him out in public to frighten the locals.
All was not over however as once his tears were dry he insisted on lying on the floor like a mechanic to check the wheels, rolling around in front of our bemused audience who were clearly at this point adding up the germ count. He refused to get back in, necessitating forceful migration into the trolley amidst all the wine, a move he reacted to by hitting me repeatedly.
I want my Good Mother badge now, please.
By the way, this is the state of the croissants today. I have eaten one. One.