Evelyn was invited to a fancy dress party last week with the theme of Pirates and Fairies. Perfect timing as her latest obsession is the 1953 version of Peter Pan, which obviously portrays both of these professions. After conceding that a pumpkin costume was not a valid option, our toddler decided that she’d like to be a pirate. “Great” I thought – Costco have some pretty decent pirate costumes in right now, let’s go! “Do you need the toilet before we go?” I asked. “No” she lied.
25 minutes later we had managed to put one shoe on and a full cardigan. 5 minutes after that we’d managed both shoes and we embarked on the journey to Costco. As we set off Evelyn demanded that we play the “Wok You” song. I tried to think of where she may have experienced the beauty of Chinese quarter-tones, bamboo, wooden and sheng instruments and then quickly realised she meant “Rock You”. “We Will Rock You” to be precise, by Queen.
It’s a song she’s been stamping/clapping to (with surprisingly accurate rhythm!) and singing along with for about a week now. I used to like the song, but like Rusks and Petits Filous she’s completely ruined it for me now.
It’s a bloody 2 minute song, it’s on loop and it’s a weapon of mass distraction when I’m driving on a Thursday evening. Luckily it’s a 10 minute drive, so we suffered the song a mere five times.
Anyway…we got to Costco. I’d lost my card so I had to get a day pass from the customer services section. You know, the part of Costco where everyone’s taking the piss with the extremely liberal returns policy that Costco has. I looked at the returners with a half spite, half envious glare. Spite because they’d delayed me with their “my flowers died because I didn’t water them. Can I have my money back” bullshit, and envy because I’m banned from returning things to Costco. I’d returned a television four times. Three times because it was faulty, and once because they’d reduced the price by £100 just after I’d bought it.
It’s an awkward thing to return something then walk through the shop and pay for a new one, only to have the same person you returned it to serve you for the new one. I stood there inspecting my shoes through the whole transaction. She knew. I knew she knew, and she knew I knew she knew.
Don’t judge me.
Finally we were walking through Costco. I had that dread I always have when I go to any shop with Kathryn. She likes to spend – I mean, we all like to spend, but she likes to spend. If something is on offer, from £2,000,000 down to £1,000,000, then she has to have it because it’s such a fantastic deal! Combine that with the fact that I’m quite frankly a tight bastard, and we have a recipe for anxiety and potential buyer’s remorse.
Stay strong, fellas
Why has nobody invented fashionable blinkers for women yet? You see, Kathryn is clever with this. She will ask me about 4 or 5 things that she doesn’t really care about. She knows with each time I say “no, we can’t afford it”, it chips away at my armour and I’m worrying about coming across as needlessly frugal. Then it comes, the item she actually wants. BOOM – there it is, “Oh there’s that thing we were talking about. You know…I said we needed it. It’s so cheap here, we can’t do without this, I can’t believe they sell that here. Put that in the trolley Mark.”
I’m a Stepford fiancé at this point and I do as I’m told – all resolve and reasoning has been bled out of me via the previous refusals and she knows it. She’s as cunning as she is beautiful and I’m, well, I’m a tit.
We reach the costumes that Costco had for sale, and lead Evelyn over to the Pirate costumes.
“Here you go sweetheart” I say as I grab the costume and attempt to hold it up against her for sizing. Before I’d even got half way towards her she exclaims “It’s too big!”. I should probably mention that it was in fact too big. She had no way of knowing this though, she was right but for the wrong reasons and I hate it when that happens! There was no smaller size there but I try and appease her by looking anyway.
X marks the spot
As I turn away from Evelyn I hear her say “I need a wee!”. Right, ok “No problem” I start to say. There are toilets nearby and I can do that thing I do whenever you’re at a public toilet and just hover you over it and aim. I’m a bloke, I’m used to aiming urine with inhuman accuracy.
Right as I turned to take her hand I heard a sound that I was sure was a thousand small beads hitting the floor at once. Had she knocked something over? Was there some much-needed rosary beads nearby that had come free of their binding and scattered across the concrete floor?
No. My toddler was pissing on the floor of Costco, right between the books and the Pirate costumes.
My first reaction was to quickly dart left and grab something to put under her. My second reaction was to dart right and grab something. I was f**king dancing here, and she was still urinating with such ferocity that it was splashing back off the floor. She was frozen in a half-squat-half-stand position and I had to admire the strength in her quads to be able to hold that position for so long. In fact, I half considered slapping a price tag on her and trying to fool people that she was a garden water feature.
That was never going to work though, because as soon as I thought she had finished she was looking up at me expectantly, as was Kathryn. Kathryn was being the sensible one as always and at least acting like she was trying to resolve the unresolvable. I knew the laws of entropy though, they dictate that we cannot “unpiss”. It was done.
I headed towards the tills and hovered awkwardly, waiting to speak to the woman on the till and ask for a mop and some cleaning equipment. I was fully prepared to clean this mess up myself. Typically though, the guy being served was buying enough cigarettes to choke an army, and he was paying in cash, counting his tens and twenties.
I wandered off and found someone else, I explained that my daughter had “had an accident” and I needed some cleaning equipment. “What has she spilt?” the lady asked. “Piss” I answered. Credit where credit’s due – she never even flinched. She laughed it off and said “we’ve all been there don’t worry”.
Fantastic, I was dealing with a rational human here. Unlike Evelyn, who think’s it’s appropriate to wee all over the floor at a warehouse store. I was given some powdered disinfectant and a Wet Floor sign and told to just sort that out and she would deal with the rest. Mortified, I pleaded with her to let me clean it up. She was having none of it though, she would clean it up and that was that. What a legend, well played Costco – some quality staff you have there!
I headed back to Kathryn and Evelyn and I could tell I’d been too long. Before I was even close enough to make out the look on Kathryn’s face I saw that ora around her that screams “you’re dead!”. To be fair, I had waited too long at that first till with Smokey Joe. That entire time Kathryn had spent trying to stop Evelyn jumping up and down in her puddle created by that ultra-long zen-like wee. That, and trying to smile at passers by with pleading eyes that screamed “PLEASE RELATE TO THIS!”. I asked Kathryn to take some pictures as I converted the wee into paste with a few sprinkles of that magic powder. She managed one picture before she hated me too much to take any more. “Fair enough” I thought. My timing could have been better.
We’re done here
The lady approached and finished the cleanup. After my hundredth “thank you” we wandered off sheepishly and hesitantly. We knew there was nothing else to be done here, but the act of walking away when someone else cleans up your child’s urine is a strange one.
We ended up having dinner at Costco and then heading home. Evelyn looked cute in her pirate outfit too, which was a bonus. I remember reading somewhere how strange it is that we revere pirates. They were, after all, inherently evil and performed such heinous acts – but here we are dressing our children up in their memory. I wonder if, in a few hundred years’ time, we will be dressing our children in Jihad outfits and sending them off to parties with a mock suicide belt around them.
Oh, and after all this she went as a f**king fairy…