Saturday, 10 September 2011

Shop til you drop..

That phrase.. it takes on a whole new meaning when you become a Mum. Sure, you'll come home exhausted and dragging loads of bags but it won't be because you spent a tiring yet blissful 7 hours trailing around a shopping centre with your closest girly pals and bought enough new shoes, clothes and handbags to open your own boutique. There may well have been some excitable shrieking involved but it won't have been "OH MY EFFING GOD LOOK AT THOSE SHOES, I'M LITERALLY COMING AT THE THOUGHT OF TRYING THEM ON". It'll be more like this:


And you know the worst thing? You're only doing this bloody shopping so they can have enough milk and biccy's to last the next few days. It's not like shopping is fun for you.. it may have been once. But let me tell you- those days are over (unless you are lucky enough to get someone else to look after your child whilst you shop - though if I were you I'd save up those favours and make it a shopping trip by yourself that lasts the whole day and doesn't include any grocery shopping!)

Little boys do not (generally) like shopping. They will tolerate some.. you may even be lucky enough to find a few shops they actually like going in (in our case it's the local veg shop, the staff are lovely and chatty - they involve Ethan in conversation and he gets excited because they once gave him a carrot. For free. Of course, he used it to beat me in the face with, not eat, but that's more fun anyway right?!).

I try to avoid taking Ethan shopping but it's part of my "job" description as stay at home mum to do the food shop. So we have to. And life being the way it is, we end up having to do several shops a week (because you cannot possibly imagine how much milk, bread and bananas you go through when there is a toddler in the house!). It has got worse and worse as he gets older. At least when he was a baby he was strapped into a trolly or content in his buggy but these days there are two options - risk him walking round with me which generally involves me constantly repeating the phrases "no", "over here", "don't touch that" and "please stop licking the floor". The other option is to keep him in his buggy... but My God the moaning and winging... It starts before we even get close to the supermarket. It's like he can sense from 5 minutes walk away that that's where we're heading. He just says "home" over and over again, louder and louder and louder.... I cannot convey just how high the stress levels are when shopping with a toddler. Try adding into the mix the inevitably forgotten shopping list and the ever so helpful supermarket who love to keep you on your toes by changing their layout every few weeks.


I think the worst shopping trip we had was a recent visit to Tesco in which Ethan managed to kick not one but TWO bottles of red wine from the shelves of the alcohol idea smashing them to smithereens on the shop floor. On a busy Friday afternoon (when we all know the booze isle is at it's busiest). I think the worst thing was having no choice but to leave the sea of stinking cheap (thank God!) red booze spreading over the floor like the shame across my face as I dashed off to find a member of staff to report the accident to whilst hearing the comments of other shoppers, the "disgusting"s and "oh! Look at that! Can't control her child and now she leaves that mess behind".. I mean what do they expect me to do? Leave him there, buggy afloat in booze whilst I go running around for help? If I did that they'd probably accuse me of abandoning my child! Once I had located a member of staff I just didn't know how to explain the situation so ended up saying "HE (pointing at said child in accusing manner) just kicked two bottles of wine off a shelf by accident....." the staff member wasn't worried in the least "clean up on isle 9 please!".

I felt like everyone in the store knew who I was after that... the woman who lets a child within kicking distance of wine..

I take it back about leaving the scene/reporting it being the worst part. Take it from me. Returning to the scene of the crime is the worst bit, especially whilst the mess is still being cleaned up, even more so when you have to get the poor cleaning bloke to move aside so you can continue your perusal or the wine because you still need to get some (you are now even more desperate for that drink tonight!!). I just couldn't tell him it was because of me (well, my child) he was having to do that...

Ladies (and gents) if you don't yet have a toddler to drag around the supermarket, enjoy your shopping experience whilst you can and spare a thought for those of us who are dragging around a child!! Those who do have to drag a child around the shops, share your horror stories and make me feel better!!

I suppose the answer is an on-line food shop... but don't get me started on the substitutions!!

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