I did cry in Clarks today, but not at the price of the shoes.
Last year I wrote about what happened one afternoon at playgroup when I couldn't find Presley. Today all of those feelings came flooding back.
I had taken the boys into Mothercare World in their double buggy (the one I keep in the back of the car, the one that makes it difficult to fit my supermarket shopping in the boot), but had let Presley out to play in a Little Tykes car.
After a while we all went to the Clarks concession to get the boys' feet measured. Presley went first. Good news, there was at least another month in his Winter shoes. Next we measured Cash's feet, his shoes were fine too. Result!
I looked up and Presley had gone. I spun round and scanned the room, he wasn't in Clarks. I started calling him and ran out into the main store, fully expecting him to be back in the car, or looking at the toys in Early Learning Centre. He wasn't there. I couldn't see him.
I shouted his name and started running around the store, handbag and younger child abandoned with the Clarks assistant.
I was panicking. Oh my God. Not again. PRESLEY! PRESLEY!
Another mother, we'd smiled at each other earlier, grabbed my arm and pointed me in the right direction. 'He's over there', she said.
Presley was standing still, in amongst the cots, a look of terror on his face. I ran over, picked him up and carried him back to his brother. Presley started crying, he knew he'd done something wrong. He knew he'd been lost.
I reminded him that he should always stay where he can see mummy and where mummy can see him. Then I cried. I'm crying now. I feel sick. There is nothing as terrifying as the thought that you could lose your child.
When we got home I taught the boys a new game. They now know what to do if we're out and they can't see me. They shout 'MUMMY' at the tops of their voices. I hope they never need to do it for real, but just in case we'll be playing the 'I'm lost' game on a regular basis.