Don’t talk the talk until you have walked the walk. We all do it though. Before I became a parent I made ignorant generalisations. I would be in the supermarket thinking ‘why can’t that parent just control their child’ and ‘why is that parent letting their child walk in the way of everyone? Look where you are going you wee monkey’. Now I have kids I realise that their little brains are different. Being fully aware of other people doesn’t come easily to them. They are in their own little world a lot of the time.
The supermarket is an interesting place. I go through a range of emotions when I am there. If I have the rare treat of a kiddie free shopping trip there are ALWAYS loads of parent and child parking spaces #sodslaw
I would never be tempted to take one when child free and people that do are cruel. Getting kids in and out of the car can be stressful. I am already seeing the familiar signs of car seat rage from my 1 year old. Today I saw something BAD. I saw a parent without their child taking up one of the spaces. Do they not get it? Or perhaps I should give them the benefit of the doubt, did baby brain make them forget that on this occasion there were no kids in the car? I really hope so.
Ah child free shopping – how easy is it? Too easy. Child free I often walk around singing to myself, feeling slightly smug with how relaxed I am. The other day I got round at a record speed of 20 minutes for our weekly food shop. I was at the checkout feeling super chuffed with myself. I was laughing away with the lady serving me about how calm it was (she knows my two well by now as they often play ‘Peekaboo’ with her). She deserves a medal for appearing so enthusiastic – especially on the big shops. My 3 year old can say ‘Peekaboo’ A LOT as she jumps up and down. She is normally on a sugar high from the treats I have bribed her with – meaning she takes on the game with more energy than Usain Bolt.
Just as I was filling up my final bag a lady with two kids around the same age as mine arrived. She looked so stressed. The kids were buzzing – clearly from similar treats. I felt for this Mum. She kept saying ‘shhhhhhh please keep the noise down’. She clearly felt awkward, embarrassed and she looked fed up. I knew she just wanted to scream at the top of her lungs ‘WILL YOU JUST SHUT UP’. I wanted to tell her I understand and that for me this kid free shopping trip was a rarity. She really didn’t have to apologise – I get it now.
More often than not I frequent the supermarket with my two wee cherubs. I will do anything to keep them in the trolley. My 3 year old has already clocked this and knows fine well that our local Tesco sells Krispy creme donuts. These donuts being strategically placed in the first aisle.
Likewise, she knows (if Mum feels plush) that Marks sell solid chocolate hello kitty lollies and that they have a ‘babycino’ cafe. Don’t get me started on the toys, books and clothes that supermarkets have embraced with open arms. Why shouldn’t they? Parents with kids at the supermarket are desperate. Kids are also great at putting things in trolleys on the sly (I was an expert apparently so I deserve it). How terrifying are those clothes rails? The perfect place to play hide and seek for a small child.
We had just started to calm down after the excitement of chocolate Santa’s and advent calendars. These marketing folk just keep it coming don’t they? Next I got roped into buying my 3 year old a red love heart balloon for valentines and then she is obsessed with the Easter bunny and which chocolate eggs she will get. It is literally non stop – 21st century life has opened us up to a world where companies are targeting the kids – not the parents. I try and stay strong but often under the pressure I crumble. I just want to get round the supermarket in one piece. What’s a balloon or a bit of chocolate if it will keep my 3 year old from playing hide and seek and giving me heart palpitations as I try and find her.
My 3 year old also loves to ‘need a wee really badly ‘ as soon as I get to the checkout. Sometimes she is pretending but you never can tell. Do I call her bluff and risk being that cruel Mum with the kid standing in a monumental pool of pee pee ‘cos Mummy wouldn’t take her to the toliet’ when she begged’?
So there you have it. I am sure I have a reputation at many a supermarket. To those that were like me pre kids and judged – stop it. Stop it right now. To those parents and carers who are often at the supermarket looking stressed – it is ok. We are all fighting the same battle. Let’s just accept that shopping isn’t going to be all that fun at the moment,embrace the madness and throw an extra bottle of wine in the trolley – we deserve it.
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