A limp cheese sandwich and a public peeSeptember 3, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 7 Comments
Tags: Baby facilities, baby food, Marks & Spencer, mother and baby parking
I open the car door as far as it will go and step out in the expanse of space, saunter to the boot, put the buggy up and park it next to the car. I swing the bear out and into his seat and we make the short walk from the mother and baby spaces to the lift. The lift is light and bright, we press the button and head to the shops.
Typical as typical can be, we need a nappy change almost immediately but no problemo, a short trip up to the baby change in the nearest department store and we’re sorted. We take advantage of the complimentary nappies and wipes, and I spend a penny quickly in the cubicle within the baby changing room. There is plenty of room for Grandma to wait on the chair by the fresh flowers.
A few wide aisled shops later, with happy chatty shop assistants who contribute to entertaining the bear while we pay, and we’re ready for lunch.
We head to a department store we know and like, and choose a nice table by the window to people watch. Plenty of space to park up the buggy, and a high chair arrives from a helpful staff member.
We choose fresh whole grain sandwiches with a variety of fillings for me, Grandma and the bear (who takes a mini sandwich selection from the kiddies section), as well as sticky cakes and cups of tea, with a smoothie for the bear.
What a lovely day.
Hold up, hold up….. (as they say in rap type songs before they reeee-wind).
Now I live in Oxford, and I don’t know about your home town, but this certainly isn’t a picture of my average shopping trip.
The car park has no mother and baby parking. I usually scrape the door on a pillar as I try to get the bear out. Once I had to get the car seat out and place it on the floor, then park the car after failing to get him out from a miniscule space. And the lift stinks of wee.
Baby changing facilities are grotty and never have a toilet in them, so if you’re alone and need to go, you either have to cross your legs or go with the door ajar so you can see the baby.
When we stop for lunch, I balance my son on my knee while we try to eat. Although large, the eatery we’ve chosen only has a small number of highchairs, all of which are taken.
Now, the main reason for this post – children’s food options in department stores. Ooh yes I’d like the crayfish and rocket on rye please, and yes of course my son would be very happy with the limp cardboard white bread and processed cheese sandwich. A meal deal you say? Great – a carton of bright e-number filled orange juice and a packet of Cheddars, perfect.
Why is it that these places assume that children won’t eat anything you eat? Granted we’re pretty lucky that the bear is ruled by his stomach and has a very wide appreciation of all things edible, but come on – a little variety wouldn’t go a miss.
What are the general child/baby facilities like in your home town? I feel a petition coming on!!!!
By the way, the department store we ate in was Marks & Spencer. They really ought to know better. However I should add that I forget now what the accompaniments to the floppy sandwich were, but they weren’t especially inspiring.
I’d also like to add that the best child-friendly restaurant we’ve found is ASK – good kids menu, colouring book and stickers for entertainment and no frowny looks from the staff when olives start being hurled around.