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Shamed by slumming it at the toy show

EVERY mother wants to feel proud. So when myself and my son recently visited the Toy Show in the RDS, he had a bath beforehand, his hair was scrubbed and I picked out a cute outfit for him. He looks just like a cherub, I thought as we set off happily.

At only two, I wondered if he was ready for a big event. After all, there was a queue outside and hordes of people inside. It was a bit like buggy hell, with Bugaboos coming at you in every direction.

A magician's show was hugely entertaining. I laughed out loud although I think the jokes were all lost on my son. Then we bought some clothes and wellies. I was tired. It had been a very late night before, but Gary seemed to be having fun.

The queues for Santa and the face painting were both too long so we gave them a miss. The queue for ice-cream was also very long, but my longing for a 99 was greater. We sat down and Gary's ice-cream dripped on to our clothes. The chocolate flake smeared on his trousers.

There was a mini funfair with hobby horses and other kiddie rides. Gary insisted on going on every ride twice. I was the proud mummy waving at him. Then he got off the last ride screaming. He wanted to keep going but at €2 a pop my money was running out.

We went to a little gym area which was, thankfully, free, and he seemed to enjoy rolling around on the mats just as much.

By this stage he was pretty filthy and my sleepless night was catching up on me. I was hungry, too. The sight of a hot dog stand excited me. I'm a vegetarian but my son isn't, so I thought if I bought him a hotdog it would save me from cooking later.


We bought a hot dog. Gary refused to eat it. I couldn't understand it because he normally loves sausages. I certainly wouldn't be eating it but, because it had cost me a princely sum, I wouldn't throw it away. At one last attempt to get Gary to eat we visited a bagel stand. Gary chose this point to lie flat out on the dirty ground and refuse to get up. I thought about disowning him as harried parents stepped over him. I even heard a lady behind me tell her children that hot dogs were bad for them. I felt like a slummy mummy.

Finally, my bagel was made and we found room at a table overflowing with rubbish. I tucked into my bagel and Gary glared at his cold hot dog. The anti-hotdog lady sat down beside me. She said hello and I recognised her from school. Herself and her three daughters were clean and immaculately dressed. We looked like we had been living rough for weeks. Cringe!