People say you forget the pain of childbirth, but believe me, you never forget the painful shopping trips with two screaming kids who want everything that they can’t have. I used to give disapproving looks to parents who stuffed their children with sweets before they even got to the check-out. Things have changed now I have two children of my own. Now I feel their pain, and before I’ve even found my way to the fruit and veg aisle, my 2 year old has eaten a packet of whatever crisps are on offer, a banana, three biscuits and half a Dairylea dunker packet. Shopping trips can be torture, and a parent will do anything to make sure it goes as smooth as possible, even if it means breaking a few rules.
Shopping used to be a joy, even fun. I used to book holidays with friends to other Cities to see what designer bargains I could fight over. I’m no longer impressed by how much a woman spends on a posh handbag or on a pair of designer shoes. The only thing that impresses me these days is any parent who manages to get through the check-out without buying a family bag of chocolate buttons, or a Peppa Pig Magazine that costs the same price as a bottle of wine. I’m not impressed with athletes who’ve won Gold medals or Actors who’ve won Oscars. My heroes are the parents who have got through an hour shopping trip without having to step over their child having a temper tantrum.
Shopping, especially food shopping, is a thankless task because nobody appreciates the endless supply of orange squash that’s always in the cupboard or the toilet roll that’s always ready to wipe a bottom. Every time I go shopping with my kids, I remember why I don’t want to go shopping with my kids.