A typical trip to the supermarket goes like this:
"Girls get your shoes on"
"Whine, why, whine?"
"We need to go shopping."
Hysterical crying, whining, promises to chew shoe leather for dinner, it's so not fair, I hate shopping, why can't I stay home alone, everyone else does, you hate me and just want to ruin my life don't you??
Arrival at supermarket, discover I don't have a pound coin for the trolley and have to go to customer services juggling bag, purse, toddler and corralling Thing One and Thing Two from the magazines. Wait for it, wait for it.. "Mum, can I have a..." First one, right in the corner!
The Babe doesn't want to ride in the trolley and screams blue murder while becoming so rigid she can never bend to get in. (Nasty mummy trick to deal with this: a quick tickle in the side of the ribs makes them bend involuntarily and you just quickly slide them in, no fuss).Having found herself in the dreaded seat of torture The Babe lets out screams of pure indignation. Reach in pocket for cursed dummy that you always swear is for bedtimes only.
"Can I have melon?"
Can I have raspberries?"
"Can I have strawberries?"
"No. Wait. They're on the list, yes get strawberries."
"That is so not fair, how come she gets strawberries but I wasn't allowed raspberries? You hate me don't you?? Can I have muffins?"
"Can I have raisin bread?"
"Can I have..."
"For goodness' sake! We've only been here 5 minutes and you have asked for 16 things, can you just give it a rest?"
"OK. But can I just have these cakes?"
(Take cakes, hold them behind back).
"What kind of cakes are they?"
"You don't even know what they are, you just asked to be annoying!"
This continues the entire way around the supermarket, punctuated by the odd lost child scenario, several muttered curses, one twisted ankle when Thing One tries to push the trolley and rams it straight at me, a second complete tour of the supermarket because The Babe spat out her dummy at some point and is now screaming blue murder again. I get to the checkout sweat streaming, patience on holiday, I get into The Longest Queue Ever, Thing One and Thing Two disappear to the "For Sale" ads (Just to get in a final Mum, can I have a kitten, puppy, mongoose) and leave me to bag alone. A hundred pounds lighter (£ not lbs... God, I wish!) we struggle home.
It doesn't end there of course. I find random smuggled items coming down the chute - I know I didn't put gum in the trolley, grrr! And when we get home the girls rip open the bags. Not to put it away, oh no. "Urgh, why did you get this, I hate this, I wanted that, why didn't you get that? I'm hungry, what can I eat? Mu-um, there's no food in the house!"
Today's trip to the supermarket, however, went like this:
There may have been children crying, screaming, arguing, fighting, running around. I wouldn't know, because I left mine at home. Most relaxing shopping trip ever! Although I didn't have a pound coin, miracle of miracles Himself had remembered to put the trolley key-ring back in place so I didn't even need a pound!
In a fit of motherly love (generally only felt when said children are absent) I even bought treats, ice-lollies and such like. I smiled at a very cute baby. I missed my own baby. I found an empty check-out. I spent less than the usual £100. I bagged happily, ready to head home and resume maternal duties... and then was persuaded by the lovely Grandmotherly lady at the checkout that we don't get enough "me time", so perhaps a coffee, a cake and the Sunday papers in the supermarket cafe...