I have a long running record of embarrassing incidents that occur in supermarkets. 2 years ago at Christmas time (so very busy) I managed to fall over in the middle of the doorway of my local Tesco. If this wasn’t bad enough, 2 hours later I did exactly the same in the doorway of Sainsburys, except this time not only was my comedy fall (picture feet flying in the air before hitting the floor with a thud) captured and displayed on the CCTV for the world and his wife to see but I was picked up by a 6 foot reindeer!!! Another supermarket incident happened last year when I was struggling to get some cans of cherry coke from the top shelf (I’m 5′ 1″ so quite short) and I dropped both multican packs on my head and knocked myself out. I came round to see several members of staff and customers standing over me looking concerned while I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me :s
Are you beginning to see a pattern?!
Well, yesterday was another one of those shopping experiences. On our way out for Sunday lunch I needed to pop into Sainsburys to grab a few bits and bobs for the kids lunch boxes. As I was only going to be quick I decided it would be easier to leave the kids and the other half in the car. I flew in and was nipping around the aisles fairly quickly when out of NOWHERE a man not only appeared in front of me but decided to stop dead in his tracks to take a free sample of Bulmers. I tried my hardest to stop but the trolley had different ideas. The next 30 seconds or so seemed to go in slow motion as my trolley carried on travelling at speed towards the man and right into the back of him, causing him to fall over and send his own trolley into the stand of Bulmers samples. The stand went flying over taking bottles and free samples with it covering the man (who was now in a heap on the floor) and the lady (also in a heap on the floor) giving the samples away. OOPS!!!
Now in a situation like this most people would be mortified, unfortunately my brain seems to have a completely different reaction and sends me into an uncontrollable fit of laughter – this time was no exception! So with tears streaming down my face and in between bursts of giggles I managed to mutter an apology and scuttle off before I caused any more damage or embarrassment.
Most of my supermarket accidents happen because of my clumsiness or my inability to drag myself away from my daydreams and pay attention to what’s going on around me in the real world, but on the odd occasion my children very kindly help out with the embarrassment.
Most verbal children with autism very often speak their minds, saying things how they see them –EXTREMELY LOUDLY!!! (remember Poppy with the postman?!). Walking around Tesco doing our weekly shop a while back we walked past a very tall man. Danny found this man fascinating and could not stop staring and at the top of his voice (whilst pointing at the poor man) he shouted “Daddy, look at that man, he’s really tall. Is he a giant? LOOK DADDY!!!” The man obviously heard all of this and politely smiled at us while we were looking a little red faced and trying to explain to Danny that we could see the man and he while he was in fact very tall he wasn’t a giant and that in future it would be better if he could use his little voice. However by the third or fourth time of Danny seeing him wandering around the aisles he didn’t look as amused, by aisle 8 of seeing him he was now looking rather annoyed and soon disappeared. That’s one of the issues with autism, people can’t see it and a lot of people will think that he’s just a rude child or that we are really bad parents for not stopping the kids saying things, if only it was that simple!!!
It’s not just Danny that has left us a little embarrassed (nor is it just these 2 incidents, there are many more). My other half had the joy of taking Poppy and her very loud voice shopping early on in the week. Poppy is quite protective of her dad and can get a bit protective (when she was smaller she used to growl at people for talking to him if I wasn’t around) so as they were leaving the house I jokingly told him not to talk to any strange ladies, this was laughed off until they were walking past the checkouts and at the top of her voice Poppy said, “Remember Daddy, Mummy said you mustn’t talk to any strange ladies” – for the second time in a week I have been reminded that I need to be very careful of what I say around that little lady as it will be repeated!!!
I’m hoping that’s my fill of public humiliation for a while as I’m going shopping tomorrow and could really do with it going without any hiccups, but this lets face it, this is me and I’m not that lucky so fingers crossed…