It is a dull grey Saturday afternoon. We are all in fancy cafe by the Halifax Harbour, overlooking the steely grey water. We are sitting on big comfy sofas. There are thick white mugs of cappuccino for the adults, hot chocolate for the golden boy and the princess (hers with extra whipped cream on the top) and a platter of cookies, big cookies with huge chocolate chips in fancy shapes: squares and swirls and things. Like I said, a fancy place.
The princess is picking out the chocolate chips with her nails. The golden boy is climbing on the top of the sofa and laughing. The father is mumbling something about this being the last time about coming with them in public. The rest of us are thinking yeah yeah yeah. The other patrons are sitting as far away as possible from us. I look with satisfaction at my pretty pretty children, and think how nice it is to be with them. I sip my foamy cappucino.
-Mummy, I need to go to the toilet. I need to poo.
With that short sentence, my smug self-satisfaction vanishes, leaving only a crazy desire to run shrieking through the cafe and hurl myself into the freezing waters outside. Every single time she does it. Every single time we’re out to eat, be it a humble cup of coffee at Tim Horton’s, or a majestic three-courser at The Bear, I end up spending an hour in the loo, while the princess poos. What is with this digestive system which relies on the ambience of a public eatery to work? Why? Why can’t she poo at home? Why do all my cappuccinos, my fancy steaks and my pizzas have to be accompanied by the gentle aroma of child poo? Is there no justice in the world? Don’t I work hard enough to enjoy a little break with my family now and then, eating something which someone else has prepared, without having to ask questions such as “are you done?” “did you use enough toilet paper?” “Did you wash your hands properly?” ?
Ok. This was it. This was totally the last time I ate with them in public.