I used to dread the weekly shop, but it's actually quite good fun since having Lily, particularly since she is now big enough to sit in the trolley seat. I push the trolley the wrong way round, so that she sails regally down the aisle as though she is at the helm of a ship. Other shoppers turn and smile at her as she glides past them and she beams back at them.
Last time we went, we were in the fruit section when she spied a huge display of blueberries, which she adores. She pointed at them whilst kicking her legs furiously to let me know that she wanted them. I picked up a punnet and put them in the trolley behind her. She squirmed furiously in her seat., twisting around to look at them.
"Not now. You can have them later." i said, and handed her a rice cake. She threw the rice cake contemptuously into the bananas and looked at me with a mutinous expression, before glaring at the blueberries again.
I made a big show of examining the raspberry section. Out of the corner of my eye i saw the bottom lip come out (run for cover), her nostrils flaring and and her face turned puce.
I fixed her with a stern look and told her "Now don't you even think about having a tantrum. I won't stand for that any nonsense."
She stared at me with the same stricken expression as Toad in The Wind In The Willows after he crashed his car. Oh dear. She took an enormous intake of breath, and just before she opened her mouth to scream i dive for the punnet of blueberries, wrench the lid off and thrust them into her lap. She stuffed a fistful of them into her mouth, looked me straight in the eye and smirked...
I popped down the dairy aisle to get some yogurts, and when i return, she is being admired by an elderly couple. She smiled winningly at them and fluttered her eyelids shamelessly as the old dear tickled her under the chin and called her a "little beauty". Her whole face was stained with blueberrys which seemed to enhance her preposterous cuteness.
I was starving so i grabbed a donut from the bakery and gave Lily half. She was soon blissfully preoccupied with covering herself in jam and sugar. There was an elderly man in front of us at the checkout. He looked like an old Sargeant Major dressed in his military tweed, ramrod straight back, hands clasped behind him as he glared fiercely ahead. His hand basket was full of meals for one.
Lily sucked on her donut and gazed thoughtfully at his patrician profile for a minute or two. Suddenly, before i could stop her, she leant forward and tugged the sleeve of his jacket. He turned, frowning. Hesitantly, with a shy smile, she offered the remainder of her donut. The mans face softened and he smiled and held out his hand. Lily solemnly placed the soggy morsel onto his upturned palm and watched as he popped it into his mouth and gave every impression that he was savouring a culinary delight. He wiped the sugar off his hands with a silk handkercheif, bent down level with Lily and said "Thankyou very much my dear. That was delicious!" Lily squirmed in delight and gazed at him from underneath her eyelashes, and there was a loud collective "Ahhhhhh!".....