There have been plenty of new discoveries made on my outing into town today and justifications of some decisions made years’ previously.
First of all there is this thing called a ‘babyccino’. I keep seeing it in coffee shops but as I like my coffee strong with soya or just plain black, no fancy things, no syrups, sprinkles or whathaveyou’s, I never bothered to enquire. Today, I was introduced to the ‘babyccino’, made especially for babies to drink in coffee shops. Yes, you read that right. Babies. Drink. Coffee shops. Seriously?
Ok, I ordered one for the boy because they are free. It is frothy milk for those normal folks like me who don’t know about these things. They sprinkle some chocolate on top to make it look like a cappuccino. I actually don’t know whether to laugh and embrace it, or despair.
My son, having never seen an espresso cup, was more excited about smashing the spoon into the saucer. He eventually ate some of the foamed milk from said spoon and then smashed the rest of it into the table, milk going everywhere.
He received his very first milk ‘tache too. This must be a London thing.
After smashing banana into himself and then smearing it with a full bottle of water, it was time to get him changed into something clean. The baby change facilities at Mothercare were out of order so I figured, ‘Hey, why not try Primark. It’s a big store, surely they have changing rooms?’
Some years ago I swore never to step foot in a Primark ever again. Aside from their dubious methods to produce clothes so darn cheap, that place just turns people into psychos. Seriously, I have never seen anything like a Saturday afternoon inside Oxford St Primark; there are fights, queues right around the store – even to go up the escalators, any floor space is either taken up my crazy people or discarded clothes. I don’t have the stomach for that sort of consumerism.
It was as I was standing in my fifth queue to finally pay for my £3 jogging pants that I made a pact to never grace that place with my presence ever again. There was a woman in front of me with a full basket of clothes and still she was reaching out and grabbing things at random from rails and shoving them in, while queueing to pay. I wonder what from that trip she wore more than once and what she just sent off to landfill. It made me feel sick.
So, here I was in the store I despised, searching for a toilet or baby change to get my mucky pup clean and sparkling, then get the hell out of there. They now have shopping trolleys, like the ones you wheel around behind you in the supermarkets. Shopping trolleys, for goodness sake.
A helpful member of staff suggested I just use the changing room over in the kids section. Off I trot, getting kicked and budged along the way by frantic clothes pickers, (they are NOT shoppers), only to be told by an angry woman on the changing room that no, I can not clean my child up in there. I didn’t even have the energy to argue or go pick something up to pretend to try on him.
NEVER SHALL I STEP FOOT IN PRIMARK AGAIN!
Off I trot down Oxford St, when lo! There stands my saviour; Selfridges. I’ve only ever been in there without a child so I have no idea where the step-free parts are; I smashed the pram into a door which looked a lot lighter than what it actually was, searched for quarter of an hour to find a lift and breathed a sigh of relief when I finally came across a well-stocked and pleasant change room. They even had rocking chairs set up for breast-feeding. Well, what more could you expect from Selfridges?
Although I cannot pass that building without thinking of the white goods store in Stoke Newington called ‘Sell Fridges’.
Cheered and cleaned, we pottered off to the kids section to have a nosey. I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford anything but maybe they had a sale on. Now, I get the point of designer labels; paying through the nose for one or two really well-made pieces of clothing that will last a life time. I am in no way fashionable or stylish but I get that concept.
What I do not get is buying a jacket for your 6 month old, that they will grow out of in say, 3 months’ time if you are lucky and paying £135 for it. £135. For a jacket. For a baby. That they will probably spill their babyccino down. Ludicrous. Even the department was so badly-designed for people with babies as they had covered it with a rich, thick-pile carpet. Perfect for bare feet, not so for pushing a pram.
We did a quick U-Turn, headed straight for the MAC counter and then headed straight home.