I was Caught Red-Handed by the Police

It was midday and we were having a Monday meltdown. Joe, 2 at the time, had been up as usual since 5am; we’d done play doh, Lego, garages, hide and seek and stories, but Joe was tired and whiny, and my energy level was spiralling downwards and fast.

We were driving to the supermarket to do the weekly shop, but as the back seat whining reached an all time high, I decided I just couldn’t face the trolley tantrum. Hunger was setting in too. Oh joy.

Up ahead I could see the big M sign, and I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to just go through the drive in, order some food, without even having to get Joe out of the car (ah, the car seat battle, one of the many gifts to mums courtesy of the terrible twos!). It went against the grain as, being a fitness instructor fast food, was the Devil’s Food to me. ‘Imagine the local headlines’ I thought, ‘Local Fitness Instructor Caught Feeding Child a Big Mac and Fries!’

But I was desperate, so donning my shades, I drove in and ordered our Happy Meals. We found a discrete space in the car park and Joe happily munched on his fish fingers whilst I guiltily necked my nuggets. Ah the joy, the silence, the scoffing, suddenly Joe and I had broken out of the tension we’d been locked into and all was well in our deep fried world.

I thought nothing more of it until I arrived at my friend’s house in Farnham later that evening, on a rare night out. I’d been in the house no longer than 5 minutes when there was a knock on the door. It was the Police. ‘Are you Mrs Willmott?’ the policeman asked. ‘Er ,yes’. ‘Were you at McDonald’s in Petersfield at noon today?’ Could it be? Had the Fitness Police caught me red handed, feasting on fast food when I should have been munching on quinoa?

It turned out that whilst Joe and I were knee deep in fries, the car next to us was being broken into and stolen. Yes stolen. It was all captured on CCTV, but I had missed the whole thing, so immersed I was in my bag of fun. The policeman was incredulous when I said I’d honestly not noticed two young men acting suspiciously next to our car, nor had I noticed them breaking into the car and speeding away. Nor had I seen the owner of the car and his son run out of McDonald’s to where we were parked in shock at having had their car stolen. ‘So what were you doing at this time Madam so as not to have noticed this going on around you?’ ‘Err, eating nuggets?’. Tutting and shaking his head, he left.

My friend and I laughed about it, but the funniest thing for me was how ludicrous my furtive behaviour had been. We all have ‘bad’ days, when we just think ‘Sod it’ and grab the first packet of Hob Nobs we can find. So what? The main thing is we try again the next day right? So if you’re having a ‘bad’ day and your healthy eating’s gone to pot remember tomorrow is another day and don’t beat yourself up about it; because whilst you are wallowing in guilt and self flagellation, something far more interesting might be going on right under your nose!