The 99p store fills me with an excitement that most normal women reserve for Prada or a sale at The White Company. I can’t help it, the thought of getting something for up to a whole pound cheaper or in rare cases, more, fills me with a warm, glowing feeling and leaves me wanting more.
I am known to make special trips to town to fill up on dishwasher salt, laundry detergent and kids lunch box fillers, all courtesy of the local ‘cheap shop.’
But a couple of weeks ago, I made an error in judgement, and unwittingly spent my pound on something worth much less.
Piled high in the homeware section, sandwiched between plastic toys and cheap bashed food tins I saw toilet bloc. The stuff that changes the colour of your flush after you have spent a penny. Usually makes it look prettier, if you can attribute beauty to a loo.
So I bought in bulk and spent three quid.
Once home, I dashed to the bathroom and pulled the circular bloc from its wrapping and dropped it in the cistern. I flushed the chain and waited to see clean pouring out beneath the rim.
Before my eyes the toilet bowl filled with pale pink water, pink because I had bought pink not my usual blue.
This was my error.
As the water rose, all I could think of what it reminded me off, what pink streaks in the loo meant to me.
“Jesus,” I spoke aloud, “It looks just like I have my…”
“Mummy,” screamed BB, bounding in by my side, “you have pink wee, you are a fairy with magic wee, wow.”
Trust a three year old who is years away from knowing about a woman’s monthly trauma to find a positive spin on my pink potty.
BB looked at me with a new found respect, shed her outer wear, climbed on the seat and started to tinkle. She climbed off with a face full of worry, yanked the chain, stared at the porcelain, then squealed.
“Mummy, me too, I have pink wee, I am a real fairy.”
Happiness it would seem is a kid who pees pink.
But still her rapture did not convert me, each time I glanced at the lavatory the pink water made me feel vaguely nauseous and even brought on imaginary PMT.
I have hated it for a fortnight and it has shown no signs of fading.
So yesterday I returned to the store and ransacked the aisle until I found, hidden far behind the pink pack of two loo blocs, a cardboard treasure containing bloc’s of blue.
Normal bloody blue for my very pink loo.
I returned home, and bounded into the bathroom, and quickly placed a blue bloc in the top of the toilet.
I flushed and waited, and watched as a deep red erupted with fury from the toilet rim.
It was worse than ever.
BB came to my side,
“Mummy, your wee is bleeding – are you dying?”
I added another bloc, and BB walked away fearing for my life.
The water turned a wild purple, with wacky streaks of red.
Howling with frustration and desperate with desire to see a pure blue stream, I added four more blocs to my now multi coloured cistern.
I flushed and squeezed my eyes tightly and then lifted a lid and peered into the loo.
Sweet lord it was blue, radiant royal blue.
My woes were over.
Or so I thought.
I lowered the lid and left the room, calmness ebbing through my limbs. Problem solved I soon forgot about my previous perils and life continued.
Then I found her.
My three year old girl, huddled in a heap, sobbing in the corner.
“What’s wrong?” I cried encircling her in a hug.
She hiccuped out a response, “I’m not a fairy anymore mummy, my wee turned blue, I am going to grow a willy and turn into a boy.”
And with that she collapsed with tears, terrified that her worse nightmare may come true and she will become a little lad.
Today was not the day for a talk of feminism, of trying to pass on understanding that boys can like pink and girls can wear blue.
Today was the day to go to the second toilet in our house, drop a putrid pink bloc in it and let my kid think she is a fairy once more because she can pee pink.
And life keeps going, with all of us happy, as long as we use the right loo.