God, I hate when kids play up in public, don’t you?

Flea and I tend to get a lot of funny looks in the local supermarket.

Before you jump to conclusions, I think it’s because we play games.

One of our favourite games is where I get a bit of a head-start on Flea and then I try to run away from her shouting, “Stop following me, I’ve never seen you before in my life! Who are you, weird girl?” and Flea shouts, “You’re my Mummy, you’re my Mummy!”

I know this sounds like borderline abuse, but Flea loves it. When she catches me, she begs me to do it again, and if I miss any of our usual lines, she reminds me. “No, Mummy, you have to tell me to stop hanging on to your leg now then tell me to go and find my real parents!” The guy at the meat counter is used to me ordering sausages with a small schoolgirl wrapped around my ankle.

Flea’s favourite trick in return is to use her very best serious voice, and ask me to put my arms up. I pretend I don’t know what’s coming and put my arms up. She then shouts “SUCKER” and tickles me, before laughing like a hyena. Seriously, this trick makes anyone under five fall about. Try it.

Sometimes we have a “Yeah, but can you make THIS noise?” or "What about THIS face?" competition (see photo), which Flea always wins because she can make truly revolting noises and her face is weirdly flexible.

I feel a wee bit guilty, though. When I go to the supermarket, I often get sympathetic and supportive looks from other parents. “Oh, the things we do to entertain the kids, eh?” they seem to say.

I do a vaguely embarrassed, “Tsk, I know, kids, what can you do, eh?” face and pretend it’s me humouring Flea when it’s more like the other way round. Honestly, she's going to be absolutely mortified by me in a few years. Especially once I teach her the Coo-ee game. (It's a brilliant game that involves shouting COO-EEE! and waving at a stranger across the street. You score a point for everyone who looks a bit embarrassed and waves just in case they've met you but have forgotten who you are).

I’ve decided that having a blanket excuse to be silly in public is one of my very favourite things about being a Mum.


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. Irish Mammy
    23rd January 2010 / 10:01 pm

    Hilarious!! My 2 year old just shouted in the shopping aisles of a major store in Dublin today “there’s poo in the toilet!” like it was a major mistake it could have been a donkey in there he sounded so suprised. Thankfully I was amongst people with a sense of smirking.
    Funny this trick, think I might just file it away for a few years time 🙂

  2. 24th January 2010 / 12:19 am

    He, he, he Sounds like us lot, we do lots of daft things and often play hode and seek in the supermarket and sing about the food we need and make silly rymes about spam!!
    I have done my Welcome Meme too

  3. 24th January 2010 / 2:06 am

    Yes, my kids are going to be disowning me too in a few years, when MY behaviour becomes too excrutiatingly embarrassing. Cannot wait to go shopping simply to play your game. And watch me shouting Co-eee to all and sundry tomorrow.

  4. 24th January 2010 / 7:57 am

    fantastic! I love this! I just need to learnt eh Finnish for Coo-eee and we’re all set.

  5. 24th January 2010 / 8:09 am

    Ha I wish I shopped where you do, much more entertaining than the miserable old bags that shop at my local Tesco!
    We play the co-eeee game and also play it in the car. We get squeels of delight if someone waves back.

  6. Sally
    24th January 2010 / 10:02 am

    @IrishMammy – omg, maybe they were wondering where he usually sees poo at home! 2 year olds are ace, though, no sense of public decorum.
    @MadHouse – ah, yes, the singing. Funnily enough I remember being mortified by my stepdad singing while shopping, yet I can’t seem to stop myself making up songs in public.
    @Nicola – you’ll love the coo-eee game. Guaranteed.
    @Heather – I’m pretty sure coo-ee is non culturally specific.
    @snafflesmummy – Oh, yes, we can’t play games at Tesco, it’s too full of people who think shopping is an endurance sport. lots of head down, barge forward with the trolley. No fun at all.

  7. 24th January 2010 / 3:55 pm

    Fab post, I can just picture it. I love it when I let my hair down and run riot with the kids, it does not happen as often as it should but it is so nice to let loose soemtimes. Thanks for reminding me. Mich x

  8. 24th January 2010 / 8:32 pm

    This sounds so funny can see it now, would make shopping a lot more interesting!

  9. 24th January 2010 / 8:41 pm

    Your are wicked! Plus I reckon some of these tricks will help monster/angel boy handle the arrival of No2 much better and keep me sane – sooooooo going to try them out next week in the supermarket if I get a chance b4 she arrives ;o)

  10. 24th January 2010 / 8:48 pm

    You are most definitely a COOL mum! My husband is very “childlike” with our daughter and I love to see it. The giggles he gets from her are priceless. I’m not as good at it though which is why it’s always more fun to have Daddy around! 😉

  11. Christian
    25th January 2010 / 9:05 am

    Thank you – you’ve just restored my faith in humanity. When I have kids, the Coo-eee game is top of the priority list!

  12. 25th January 2010 / 12:40 pm

    You’re so right. I hate not having fun because of “what people will think.” One of our favourite games is when my daughter tries to shout in the supermarket, but I put my hand over her mouth and nose. She loves it, but it does look weird.

  13. 25th January 2010 / 5:35 pm

    THAT’s what I’ve been doing wrong in the supermarket! great post

  14. 25th January 2010 / 10:01 pm

    3 year old and I attracted many funny looks in the park today because we were both tugging the leads of imaginary dogs. We had to tie them up outside when we got to the cafe and I kept going to the door to check they were all right while we ate our lunch. He let his off when we went out again and we both ran all over the place shouting for it because it ran away and hid.

  15. 26th January 2010 / 11:01 pm

    We like to play the animal noise game in the supermarket. I point to a food and the kids have to make the noise of the animal they think it comes from. I was a bit peturbed when I pointed at weetabix (bluff, you see) and my daughter said “baa”. We’ve now invented sheepabix. Nice.

  16. 26th January 2010 / 11:49 pm

    Love this!
    And having witnessed the “Sucker!” routine myself I can testify that it is just as adorable as it sounds.

  17. 27th January 2010 / 9:56 am

    Love the idea, but we shop in Waitrose so I’m not sure it’s allowed. I fear a supermarket that includes ‘coconut milk’ in their Essentials range, may not feel this sort of behaviour appropriate…