Eating out and food shops in London, London, Mummy stuff, Play

One of those days

It’s been one of those days. Your friend cancels the longingly anticipated lunch date at the last minute, and as nobody else is available on short notice (and because you don’t really have that many friends anymore), you grab the baby and venture out on your own. After all, this was the day you were going to treat yourself to a new summer dress.

After about 100 laps around the block, you finally find a parking spot and unfold the buggy, not without severely pinching your skin in one of the ‘3-steps-easy-peasy-unfolding-spots’ of the damn thing. You breathe in. You breathe out.

Destination: Le Pain Quotidien. You order slices of bread for the baby and a slice of quiche for yourself. The baby is munching happily on the bread whilst you sip mineral water. 40 minutes later, a waitress comes up to you and asks if anything was wrong. You make a mental note to stop displaying your innermost emotions on your forehead and tell her that you are still waiting for your food. The waitress goes bright red and admits to have forgotten your order.

You decide to forget about lunch, again, and savour what’s left of the saliva-soaked bread.

The wind is icy, but the sun warms your faces. You had walked past Matches on your way to the coffee shop and promised yourself to pop in later. You are going to keep that promise. The shop assistant stares at you as you struggle to open the door whilst heaving the buggy over the front step. You feel out of place before you are even in.

Maybe you should try Selfridges. You stroll around the ground floor where they sell selected items of Topshop’s vast collection. You have a closer look at a cheap imitation of a silky, nude coloured Chloe look-alike dress and decide that it will look just that on you – cheap.

The 2nd floor stocks more age appropriate close. You pass four sales girls, absorbed in deep conversation. Unsurprisingly, nobody comes to your help when the jeans that you tried on aren’t the right size. For that kind of price you’d had expected a little more attention. You get dressed again and leave the jeans in the changing room.

Leaving Selfridges empty handed, you feel old and inadequate. You run back to the car, only to pick the parking fine from the windscreen after being two minutes late. The baby goes into plank-position and screams as if you’d torture her as you are trying to get her back into the car seat.

Coming home, you are glad to learn that the decorator is almost finished with the things you asked him to do this morning. You’ll find out later that he used the wrong colour, leaving your walls tie-dyed.

You switch into speedy mode and feed the baby, bath the baby, sing to the baby, cuddle the baby, and put the baby to bed.

That bottle of Cava in the fridge has your name written all over it.


  1. Sorry to hear you’ve had a rotten day MM. I HATE it when sales assistants gape at you struggling over the threshold with the buggy and don’t offer any help!

    I’ve been on the Le Pain Quotidien and think I will be using them to meet all my future bread needs. I am also planning a jaunt to Coram Fields soon as they have an amazing Austrian cafe there with a quite astounding cake collection!

    Hope tomorrow is a better day. Enjoy that cava x

  2. I think you deserve a very big glass of that Cava! I detest the way certain stores make you feel when you have your baby/stroller with you. Hope tomorrow is better.

  3. Oh MM! I love you for this post! We’ve all been there, time and time again. Days like these stink. And I’m sadly horrified at Selfridges! They should know better. Hope you enjoyed that Cava Honey! We have to meet up in the spring… and it will all go according to plan obviously! xx

  4. BettyG says

    Been there! Will be there tomorrow when I go looking for a cocktail dress for a Valentine’s Party on Fri. This post will make it a little more palatable! Wish me luck.

  5. I’ve been to Pain Quotidien too….I seem to remember my then one year old behaved terribly and it was most embarrassing.

    At least with a baby you can still just about go shopping – once they are toddling, forget it! Enjoy the cava….

  6. That was not a good day! Not surprised you headed straight for the Cava. I think I might have had a few tears as well. Unhelpful ‘assistants’ (hardly that are they) don’t make shopping for us mothers with babies any pleasure at all. Better luck next time eh.

  7. Totally, I’m so out of practise with shopping I get frustrated and embarrassed much too fast.

    And service at Le Pain is pretty uniformly terrible I’ve found. I still go, the lure of almond croissant is too strong.

  8. It’s funny how invisible a buggy can make you, especially in a shop. Are mothers not interested in clothes? I think not! Hope the Cava slipped down well. I think I’d have done an online shop too, just to redeem the day, but you clearly have more self control!

  9. What a sh*** day! If it were me who was supposed to go on that girly date, I would have never cancelled! especially if its at le pain quotidien! btw, I work at Oxford Circus, next time call ME! Hope you enjoyed that cava…sun sun sun here you come! x LZ

  10. Oh yes, I know days like these. They say a shop assistant can sum up in 2 minutes flat whether you are serious or not about being in there (look at your manicure apparently or lack of one in my case) and I hate the snootiness some of them have. It makes me want to do a Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and go back and buy the whole damn store. Wielding buggies round shops is one of the banes of my life. Hope today s betterX

  11. Hmmmm – I just read over here and in the BLOB-post and found things about pasta and bread for the baby?
    I wonder: Do we face a cultural gap here? Our little one is one month younger and we are faaaar from even thinking of bread and pasta – it’s just veg, potatoes (teutonic!) and, each second day, meat.
    From which age on you start feeding flour-products on the island?

  12. geez, i hope you took advantage of the Cava. and don’t worry, soon you’ll be basking in the sun getting a youthful tan and loving life. *sigh* and those shop people will wish they were you!

  13. tie-dye walls lol

    I’m trying to remember if I ever tried to go shopping with a baby in a stroller …. no the memory is somewhere there but I believe it has been blanked out it was so traumatic

    Never mind once baby is at nursery you can pretend to be lady that lunches once in a while!! xx

  14. Argh, snooty shop assistants are the worst… not something you’d expect from Selfridges.

    The last ‘one of those days’ I had ended in me whacking myself in the face with my phone when I tried to answer it. I got home and went to bed 🙂

    Here’s hoping today was better for you!

  15. Julia says

    hört sich an wie einer meiner gewöhnlichen Samstage. Ohne Kinderwagen aber auf der Suche nach einer Mischung aus Gemuetlichkeit und Inspiration.

  16. umm… I am about to have my third child (yes, my third, the figure scares me some nights) and I can still relate to all you are saying. Love the blog, I’ll be back for more visits.

  17. Rocio says

    Hey, I just discovered your blog and I love it !!
    I know those days.
    …And talk about plank position….my heart goes out to you. Fortunately we have grown out of that now, although my 3 year old makes sure to parade her “personality” at the most convenient times !! So, deep breath and count to ten.
    Hope you enjoyed that cava !!

  18. sorry your day was pants. I love the way people just stare at you whilst you’re struggling with a buggy. When i get stuck with my double buggy and even whilst i’ve got this huge bump no one ever helps grrr. Enjoy the cava and have one for me xxxxx

  19. Perhaps next time you should just go straight for the Cava – cut out all that nonsense in the middle.

    In my opinion, bubbles will always be your friend…

  20. Selfriges need to sort their staff out clearly (said by someone who has worked in retail management). That’s very poor customer service, well none whatsoever actually and a wasted sale.

    But I disgress…

    I know when one thing goes wrong in my day it is usually downhil from then on! And I remember how difficult getting anywhere with a pushchair was.

    After a run of bad luck everything has to go right now. Life has a funny way of balancing things out. xx

  21. Mummy etiquette: NEVER ever cancel at the last minute, especially when there are dear friends and babies involved! I can so recall that feeling of ‘OK, pick myself up, head out alone, I will have as nice a time…’ But its never quite the same. What a brave little post – hope the Cava helped 😉

  22. Sounds like one of my normal days at the moment, except Top Shop would have been too pricey and I’d be painting those walls myself whilst balancing the baby! I always think nightmare days are counterbalanced by fabulous days, they are a small price to pay. SO there will be a totally amazing dress and pair of jeans out there with your name on the, a fab lunch date with a lovely companion and a sleeping baby through it all just around the corner.
    Having lots of friends is like having too much cheap chocolate, keep it with quality not quantity, even if it means a few cancelled lunch dates and a few days alone. Failing that, give me a ring I don’t have much of a life 😉 xx

  23. We share a name! Mine is Cava too! (My middle names are Chardonnay, Vouvray, Pinot Grigio…)

  24. and well deserved Cava it was too. i hate shop assistants like that, why are they either so mean or so ineffectual?

  25. Sorry this is late- I’ve been all over the place with moves etc the past couple of weeks. I’m so sorry you had a pretty horrid day. I hope your holiday is wonderful and London is much nicer when you come back.

    By the way to me you don’t look in any way old and you REALLY shouldn’t feel that way at all- you are a fabulous yummy mummy.

    I am rather having the opposite problem with a friend who had a baby last year. I tried to be in touch when the baby came but not bother her you know, I thought she would need to find routine and calling and texting all the time would be annoying- but I did visit several times in the first weeks and keep in touch by texting. She has kind of vanished off the face of the earth and now that the baby is 9 months or so am pretty sure she could text etc. It’s not just me all of her friends pre the baby are the same- we have even been worried she might be depressed but her Mother says she is okay just probably caught up etc (we all went to school together). Any advice gratefully appreciated!

  26. This sounds like a very mean day- glad you have your holiday to make you feel better xx

  27. I once visited Le Pain Quotidien in New York and had a lovely breakfast. But anyways about your day…I can totally relate….ah the adventures of motherhood.

  28. sounds like we should hit selfridges jeans department together as i want to go but not sure it will work with a toddler.

    or, better still, perhaps we should find some jeans somewhere else!!

    and you’re brave even going into matches. i know that one and i always just walk past!!

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