As regular readers may know, we recently added a new member to the family – Teddy the puppy.
Mostly, Teddy enjoys biting stuff.
Toys, sure, but also skirting boards, passing feet, coats, her own lead… and bicycles.
Flea and I noticed that Teddy had started chewing the tyres of our bikes, which were locked up in the back garden.
“It’s no good,” I told her (Flea, not Teddy. Teddy isn’t particularly interested in my feedback on her behaviour) “We’ll have to get a shed.”
So last weekend, we had half an hour to spare before a family lunch, so off we went to the local garden centre.
I didn’t want a BIG shed because, basically, it only needs to be big enough to hold two bikes and a scooter, right? I chose one of those plastic contraptions thinking it would be easier to put together than a wooden model.
I should have known we were doomed from the start.
First off, we lined up to pay for the shed. It took ages. Everyone was out panic buying for Mother’s Day and the checkout was heaving with people holding floral displays and boxes of chocolates. Including us. Well, if you can kill two birds with one stone…
We eventually got to the front of the line, where the guy rang up our purchases and I realised… I didn’t have my debit card.
“Maybe I left it in the car,” I mused, abandoning my purchases and heading back to the car park. Inside the car… no debit card.
I do have a second bank account, and I did have the card for that account in my wallet but wasn’t sure if there were funds in it. So I quickly called the bank and typed in approximately 50,000 numbers and dates and codes to find that yes, there was some money in the account, and it would cover the cost of the shed.
Hurrah! Disaster averted. “Let’s get back and pay up as quick as we can,” I said to Flea.
Then I heard the scream.
“I shut my fingers in the car door,” wailed poor Flea, whose right hand was already double its normal size.
The upside of being a neurotic hypochondriac is that I’ve taken a LOT of first aid courses, so I hurried Flea inside the store and down to the kitchen where I asked for a bucket of ice and some paper tissue.
The fingers weren’t broken but they were badly bruised and on one finger Flea had lost quite a bit of skin. I asked one of the staff if we could have a plaster (for psychological effect mainly – I’m of the opinion things hurt less for kids if they can’t see what’s hurting).
Cue three first aiders who had to assess the incident and complete a form before they could possibly give us a plaster.
“I don’t think they’re broken,” said one.
“I don’t think you really need a plaster,” said another.
“I think she needs a plaster, and a scoop of ice cream,” said the third, who was clearly the most sensible of the bunch.
Ice cream eaten and plaster applied, we headed back up to the check out, and queued up once again to buy our shed.
We got to the front of the queue to find…. no debit card.
“I must have left it in the bloody car when I rang the bank,” I realised. “You stay here and don’t move a MUSCLE,” I commanded Flea, while I gracefully darted through the crowds (who am I kidding) to retrieve the card. Only to find it wasn’t there.
Five minutes of pointless rummaging under car seats later, I realised the only possible explanation was the card was in the restaurant, where I’d taken Flea with her injured fingers. I ran back downstairs, sweating a bit by this point, and was met by the manager, who told me my card was back upstairs at reception. Marvellous. Ran back upstairs, puffing AND sweating, to be told I needed to fill in a form to reclaim the card from “lost property”.
This done, I finally reclaimed my child, queued up, and paid for the shed.
Six hours of shoving, drilling, screwing and puzzling later…. we have a shed. It looks lovely.
Unless you count the fact that the shed is too small to fit my bike in, of course.
But I’m choosing to gloss over that tiny, insignificant detail.