I’m not a great fan of shopping but since it’s the internet age, I manage. I may not like Amazon for their ethics, but I love them for how easy they make my life.
Now and again I do need something more urgently than ‘tomorrow’. This means I have to go to a real shop; I usually just about cope. I try and go on the way to somewhere else and I always, always, always try to go during school hours. Because, lovely as my children are, as soon as they cross the threshold of a shop, they seem to go completely nuts.
Yesterday I broke this self-imposed rule of mine and immediately had it rammed home why I had made it in the first place. Typical.
I picked up DD3 from her piano lesson at the same time I dropped DD2 off at hers, and needed a couple of ingredients for dinner so had to stop off at the shops before I went home again. If I have the older kids with me, I often leave them in the car. Shoot me, but there is parking out the front of the shop and they are quite happy to sit and read. But DD3 is only 7, so I had to take her in with me.
If you were being polite, DD3 is what you might call ‘lively’. She’s usually the one getting in to whatever I’d rather she didn’t, climbing things that aren’t meant to be climbed or making stupid faces when I get the camera out.
Predictably she loves going shopping and her favourite trick is pointing to everything saying ‘Can we get this?’, ‘Can we get that?’ until I fear my ears might bleed. Of course the answer is always no, but it doesn’t stop her trying.
We made our way around the aisles ( red pepper, green pepper, tinfoil and toothpaste) but it wasn’t until we reached the toiletries that things escalated. DD had been trailing around behind me, stopping to look at things ( No Touching!) and chat, chat, chatting but essentially she had had to keep moving as I did. My mistake was actually stopping by the toothpaste, in order to look on a lower shelf. DD took this as a sign to start running down the aisle, weaving through the other customers and bouncing off the shelves on alternate sides as she did so.
I fixed her with one of my historically ineffective death stares but she laughed and ran past me.
‘Stop it’, I growled in her direction, while I located the required toothpaste and placed it in my basket.
She giggled and lined herself up for another fly by; the lady buying panty liners next to me raised an eyebrow and sucked in her breath. I didn’t blame her.
DD ran past me again, and as she did so, I reached out and grabbed her arm to restrain her. I should have known better. She screamed REALLY LOUDLY and everyone in the aisle whipped around to see what was going on. I let go and DD ran up the aisle yelling ‘ ‘Old lady, let go of me. I want my daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! ‘
I glared at her and beat a hasty retreat. Experience has taught me never to chase a child spoiling for a fight. Instead I headed toward the checkout and she followed, dancing around me and saying things like ‘You grabbed me’, ‘I don’t know you’ and ‘I want Daddy.’
I tried to pretend I wasn’t stand next to the newspaper rack with its headlines about Kidnappings and Child Abduction, and hissed vague threats about not letting her go on her much anticipated school trip next week. This seemed to work as we had no more pretending that I was a stranger. I only had to deal with her threatening she was going to pick up sweets so I’d have to buy them instead.
We made it back to the car without the police being called, and definitely without any sweets or pudding because of her behaviour, where I gave her a long, boring lecture about what happens to girls who cry Wolf. She did me the courtesy of listening quietly on the drive home, and as we got out of the car, she apologised and gave me a hug.
Aww, I thought- I’ve got through to her this time.
Then she looked up at me with a twinkle in her eye, said ‘ But it WAS kind of funny, wasn’t it? and skipped up the garden path ahead of me.