Bringing America’s Sippy Cup Back Home

It is a beautiful day. We are on the train, heading to Portsmouth, to watch the America’s Cup in the hope that the LandRover BAR team will (hashtag) ‘bring the cup home’. I have just been interviewed by BBC Radio for the blog, both children are looking vaguely normal and NW and I haven’t argued yet. Life is good.

“Where’s my sippy cup?” NG pipes from the back of the buggy, where she insists on cramming herself, despite the headbar crunching her neck like a Japanese torture tool.

“In the bag,” I say distractedly, hoping it is. It probably is. NG’s favourite cup is actually a water bottle from America, brought home by husband, who is from Seattle. It has a straw and NG calls it a sippy cup because, despite wanting to be a ‘big girl’ 99% of the time, she likes pretending to be a baby when it comes to drinking. And so it appears at every mealtime, lending her the look of a small Bear Grylls, and we take it everywhere, even though the painted mountains and pine trees suggest it was designed for use hiking round Alpine lakes rather than Aldi.

NC bring the cup back home ft. image

NC really is a baby. But this is NG’s sippy cup (water bottle) – to lose it would be the last straw…

“Don’t lose it, will you?” she trills worriedly.

“No,” I say seriously, because it is 29 degrees and whilst I’m banking on quenching my own thirst with something fruity and alcoholic, the children had probably better have water.

The train ride goes well, the only blip being NC emptying a crisp packet on the head of the woman in front, and we walk to Southsea like we really mean it.

“Kate Middleton’s coming tomorrow,” I say, off-handedly to NW, who has stopped suddenly and is searching the rucksack. “She’s presenting the trophy.”

“Oh, for god’s sake,” he mutters.

“I’m just saying.”

“No, no… for god’s sake, I haven’t got any money.”

“What do you mean?”

He looks at me hard. “I’ve forgotten my wallet. Have you got any money?”

I have, as it happens, got £40 in cash but I was hoping not to spend it on crap like flavoured rice cakes, an ’emergency’ bottle of Calpol and extra wipes, but Pimm’s. Also, I owe one of my best mates a tenner from a bet last summer which I still haven’t repaid. We are meeting friends in the America’s Cup Race Village because NW got some perky tickets through his job and, what with no-one driving, I was hoping to enjoy a few drinks in the sun (responsibly, of course).

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Watching the sailing before heading to the (LandRover) BAR

We battle through the crowds and find our gang, then promptly split up again because one needs a wee, one needs fish and chips and one doesn’t want to go to sleep. I trundle NC around in the buggy in a circle, his wails drowned out by the huge television speakers and the excitement of the crowd as ‘our boys’ win a race.

“I’m going to the bar,” I say when NW returns with food.

He doesn’t argue and I spend a happy twenty minutes on my phone in a queue, not playing Pokemon Go. When I get to the front, the jolly looking barman is about to take my order when I drop my phone. As I bend down to pick it up, the familiar scent of NC’s faeces makes me gag.

“Sorry, my son needs changing. Could you hang on a minute?”

I sense the displeasure of those behind me as I wheel the buggy round the back of the food van. Trying not to heave at the stench of frying oil and shit, I wipe, fold and tie the nappy into a sack, ready to swing the trophy into one of the huge bins.

“It’s £38 for a jug of Pimm’s,” says the man when I return. “That includes £10 deposit,” he adds brightly.

In my shock, I swing the nappy sack too fast over the bin. It lands with a damp thud in the middle of the crowd, then quietly explodes. People scatter like seagulls as the shit and smell seep out. I have no more wipes. Temporarily frozen with embarrassment, I register the mess and then grab the jug, thrust all my cash at the man and push the buggy as fast as I can back to our group without spilling alcoholic fizz over NC as I go.

“Here,” I gasp, proudly showing the adults the jug.

My friend looks at me keenly. “Did you get cups? Oh, and WHERE is my tenner?!”

“Bugger. I left them at the bar,” I say, realising too that I can’t repay the bet as all my cash is gone. I gaze back – people are giving the nappy sack a wide berth and I don’t have to hear the remarks to know they will be pretty stinky.

“Don’t worry,” NW says kindly, taking the jug. “There’s one here,” he picks up a dropped clean plastic cup from the ground, “and we can use this.” He holds up NG’s precious bottle.

NC is contentedly slurping his bottle of milk and I know NG has had lots of water, so I concede.

File 24-07-2016, 11 00 51

Keeping cool with ice cream…

We have a lovely afternoon of racing, drinking (responsibly) and lounging about but the nappy guilt nags at me like a toddler with an iPad restriction. By this point, I have had three glasses of Pimm’s and so I grab the nearest thing to me – the empty jug – run back to the forecourt and scoop the small bomb into it. I feel the eyes of onlookers watch me approvingly – as far as they’re concerned, I’m just a good Samaritan – as I dump the nappy once and for all in the bin. Then, as I look down and the now smeared with shit jug, realisation dawns: I’ll have to bloody well clean it before I can return it and get my deposit back.

I head to the Portaloos. There’s a queue, of course, and while I’m checking my phone, a boy on a skateboard wobbles towards me. You know what happens next. The jug smashes. There is shitty glass on the floor. It is now twice as bad as it was and I have definitely lost my deposit.

I return to the bar forlornly. “I’ve broken the jug,” I say, pathetically. “But I still need money.”

File 24-07-2016, 11 00 08

… and an American sippy cup.

The man looks at me, amused. “But you’ve got no jug.”

“I know,” I say.

“I could take something else.”

I look confused. “Like what?”

“Your phone?”

I smile at him but not with my eyes. “No.”

He eyes NG’s water bottle with interest. “That’s pretty nice.”

“It’s my daughter’s sippy cup! I mean, water bottle. I mean… “

He sighs. “Well, I’m off in a minute and it’s so hot, I’m going to need some water to get me home. Give me that and I’ll give you a tenner.”

I am torn. £10 will mean I can pay my friend back but I’ll lose NG’s beloved drinking vessel. There is, in the end, no question, of course. I shrug and turn away.

“Mummy, my cup, my cup!” shouts NG as I return.

“Yes, I’ve got your cup,” I say, handing her the bottle. She looks at it with disdain. “No, not THAT cup. I’ve got a new one!” She holds up the plastic pint glass NW found on the grass earlier. “It’s so big. Daddy says it’s like they have at baseball in America! Look, I can drink like a big girl! Let’s bring it home!


It’s time for the Mumsnet Blog Award nominations! And, if you like Right Royal Mother, I would love a nomination for Best Writer or Comedic Writer. Thank you thank you. Polly x


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31 Comments

  1. July 25, 2016 / 9:43 am

    Aww brilliant! Such a great story, I could feel how torn you were at the end and to find out that NG has a new favourite cup anyway 🙂 xx #bigpinklink

  2. July 25, 2016 / 2:07 pm

    Oh my goodness-dropping the nappy sack and the contents spilling everywhere…!! A full tale of woe, going from bad to worse by the poop stained jug then being shattered!! I really felt for you-I make these quick decisions (like scooping up poop in the nearest available thing,) only to realise I’ve made a huuuuuge mistake!! I thought the man bargaining for a sippy cup was a little unusual!! Mostly these people have no sympathy if you break whatever it is you’ve put a deposit on, and that’s the end of it! I can’t believe he wanted a sippy cup so badly! And of course, children are so fickle aren’t they?! The thing they loved the most discarded is a second, for something usually quite gross!! A fabulously told story, thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink!

  3. July 25, 2016 / 10:12 pm

    Oh God, the poop explosion! Glad you had the Pimms to wash the shame away! Funny story #marvmondays

  4. July 26, 2016 / 8:05 am

    HA! Love it. Trust a child to change their mind like that. And good on you for picking up the nappy – not sure I’d have bothered! #TwinklyTuesday

  5. July 26, 2016 / 8:59 am

    A brilliant comedy of errors. It’s funny how one small thing can lead to a domino effect of horrors! At least there was Pimms before the breakage 🙂 #chucklemums

  6. July 26, 2016 / 11:52 am

    a) THIRTY EIGHT QUID FOR ONE JUG OF PIMMS??? You should have hotfooted it to the nearerst Aldi or Lidl and bought a bottle for eight quid and b) What was the bet?? #chucklemums

  7. July 26, 2016 / 12:36 pm

    Hahaha, my first comment was going to be the same as Fran’s above – £38 for a jug of Pimms!!!!!! Fab story, I love how fickle kids are – there’s no keeping up with their new favourite thing! Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  8. July 26, 2016 / 4:02 pm

    I’ve got such a great slo-mo visual of the nappy sack flying through the air and then exploding 😀 #chucklemums

  9. July 26, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    I am the same as the girls above £38!!!!! What a great story and I was right there with you until the end. Children are funny little things aren’t they?? Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove Laura x

  10. July 27, 2016 / 9:24 am

    £38 for pimms? Hope all your friends dipped in at the end! Love how sweet NG is. Bloody typical though that they love one thing then change there minds and make you look like a fool. Mine do that to me too. A lot. #bigpinklink

  11. July 27, 2016 / 1:33 pm

    That Pimms had better been amazing! What a brilliant story – I’m looking forward to all this tomfoolery as our little one starts getting older (and more possessive over everything)! #BloggerClubUK

    • July 27, 2016 / 1:41 pm

      Oh thank you… the Pimm’s was ok. You know, just ok. But after all that palaver it actually did taste BLOODY AMAZING!!!

  12. July 27, 2016 / 1:43 pm

    Oh my gosh – I think kids have a handbook of some sort, don’t you? “When your Mom thinks you totally can’t be without something, find something else. And do so at the absolute worst possible time.”

    Sounds like it was almost a great day. I hope you had fun with your friends despite the “nappy bomb”. 😀
    ~Jess
    #BloggerClubUK

  13. July 27, 2016 / 5:58 pm

    What an admirable gesture – returning to the scene of the crime and picking up the nappy. Kate Middleton would surely do the same. Great ending. But the price of the Pimms still has me reeling. Was it like the magic porridge pot? Did it never get empty?! #Chucklemums

  14. July 27, 2016 / 8:24 pm

    £38;is a bloody travesty! You made the right choice with the cup – you know as soon as you get rid it’ll be the favourite again! #bloggerclubuk

    • July 28, 2016 / 6:32 am

      It was so expensive. But would have paid more not to have had to deal with the nappy 🙂 #bloggerclubuk

  15. July 28, 2016 / 8:59 am

    Haha so funny! A series of unfortunate events! Sounds like one of our family outings. I DO love a glass of Pimms on a hot day, though. #SharingTheBlogLove

  16. July 28, 2016 / 9:06 am

    Ah, the memories. I’m sure you will never forget that moment, no matter how much Pimms you drink!
    x Alice
    #coolmumclub

  17. July 28, 2016 / 2:03 pm

    Haha love it kids are so fickle and practically KILL us before changing their minds in an instant. And just think, all it took was a plastic pint cup to make her happy lol! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely xx

  18. July 28, 2016 / 3:22 pm

    Brilliant!!! Bloody kids and their fickle loyalties!!! 🙂
    #sharingthebloglove

  19. July 28, 2016 / 6:43 pm

    Aww bless your child. #MarvMondays

  20. July 29, 2016 / 10:46 am

    Oh brilliant! I would have handed that sippy cup over! 😉 On another note £38, outrageous! I would have wanted flecks of actual gold in my Pimms for that price. Thanks for linking up #FridayFrolics

  21. July 29, 2016 / 2:06 pm

    Brilliant!! Love how you dealt with the nappy sack and then the issue of the “shitty jug” !! Sounds like a great day out. #TwinklyTuesday X

  22. July 29, 2016 / 9:29 pm

    ha ha, there is really no pleasing anyone is there! Everything comes so big in america, so I suppose any cup is going to big to take home! #sharingthebloglove

  23. July 30, 2016 / 10:00 am

    Oh noooo!!! I feel your pain! Love this! Bless her heart! Poop explosions are the worst. I hope the Pimms helped fizzle out the stress!! 🙂 #Sharingthebloglove

  24. July 31, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    Ha ha, oh no, one thing after another! I would not have been going back up to the bar after the nappy explosion!! Sounds like you had a pretty good day in the end though! 🙂
    #sharingthebloglove

  25. August 4, 2016 / 11:35 am

    Haha! Eventful! I went to the previous leg of this & can’t say I enjoyed it – turns out I find sailing boring & there was not as much other stuff going on as I expected! But they were free residents tickets so oh well! I now realise I should just be glad I didn’t accidentally throw a nappy at anyone! Children are so fickle, aren’t they – typical!

    Thanks so much for joining us on #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next time

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