“There’s a hole in your bum,” my husband says loudly as we traipse around a National Trust garden in the rain.
I realise this is not the beginning of a biology lesson when he pokes the tip of his umbrella at my jeans.
“You need to go shopping.”
I shudder. I never go shopping. I order things online, wait for the package, try it all on, hate it all, and send it all back. I spend my life taping up plastic bags and filling out returns forms, ticking the “Not what I expected” box.
I’m not surprised my jeans have disintegrated. I have been crawling around pretending to be a horse for weeks, and they are so baggy the knees stick out when I stand up.
“Take the kids in half term,” suggests my husband, as we eat our squashed packed lunch on a damp bench. “It’ll be fun,” he adds gingerly.
“I’m not sure it will be fun,” I say as I watch Milk and Mayhem terrorising some ducks, “but there will be fewer queues, and I will spend less money than going to Legoland.”
I wait for half term and drive the boys into town. It’s a short journey but I still have to chuck rice cakes behind me to stop them complaining of starvation. In the clothes shop Milk and Mayhem discover if they hide in the middle of a rail of coats they can surprise each other (and innocent shoppers) by sticking their heads out and screaming. I persuade them to run around a table of neatly stacked jeans instead, while I grab at different styles and sizes. Everyone is relieved when we head to the fitting room.
The children watch me as I undress. “Mine,” says Mayhem pointing at my chest.
“Not anymore,” I grimace as I pull on a T-shirt. I get the first pair of jeans over my knees but have to do a wiggling motion to get them up my thighs, so I take them off and drop them in the ‘no’ pile.
“Have you finished now?” Milk asks, his finger up his nose.
“No.” I am red faced and sweating as I pick up the next pair.
These jeans do fit, if I tuck in a bit of fat.
Milk rolls his eyes. “This isn’t fun Mummy.”
I agree with him but Mayhem seems to be enjoying himself. He has climbed onto the bench and is shouting “Yellow! Yellow!” at the mirror, while rubbing snot across the glass.
“Nearly done,” I say taking off the jeans and putting them in the ‘yes will fit when I’ve been a horse for a few days’ pile.
I hear a grunt and notice Mayhem is disappearing backwards under the door. I grab his wrists at the last second.
“No Mummy,” he screams. “Walk! Walk!”
“Stay with Mummy,” I plead, lying on the floor to see if there is anyone more responsible than me on the other side.
“Can we go now?,” says Milk pushing the door.
“No!” I yelp, but I am holding Mayhem so tightly I am caught on all fours in my underwear as the door swings open.
“Shut the door!” I screech and push Mayhem’s head down so he won’t be decapitated when I drag him back into the cubicle.
I make it home to find my husband is back from work early.
“So, did you have fun?” he asks swinging the boys over his shoulders.
“Mummy did,” says Milk reaching for his sword.
I slump into the sofa and close my eyes. “Exactly what I expected.”