Shopping+kids=disaster!

With our holiday fast approaching next weekend I have began the annual panic about what we still need to buy, to do and worst of all, to pack. I have spent the last few days desperately clicking on mail order websites, trying to buy for every eventuality, collecting and returning countless parcels and growing increasingly anxious about that fact that the days are flying by. So today, having waited in all morning for yet another parcel, I thought we would have a drive up to Matalan where I would be safe in the knowledge that it’s all under one roof, no busy roads to cross, no heaving shopping arcades to manoeuvre, no lifts to wait around for with these three little monkeys in tow.

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And two hours later, two hours of sheer hell later, I remembered exactly why I hate shopping these days. Gone are the days when a shopping expedition was something to look forward to, armed with a list and a choice of venues for lunch, and in its place is what can only be described as a living nightmare. The most stressful, embarrassing, infuriating kind of nightmare that results in tears, both the kids and mine!

Because it’s hard to remember the days when I could enjoy shopping by myself. When I could simply walk into a shop without the five minute pep talk beforehand, the laying down of the law, the promise of chocolate and ice cream if they would just let Mummy do what she has to do. When I could stand in a queue, waiting for the stupid woman on the customer service desk to get off the phone, without my kids throwing twenty two pairs of mens black sports socks into my trolley or pulling down a tower of DVDs. When I could keep up the pretence of being a, relatively sane, grown-up without one of the kids pointing out that my cardigan has a huge gaping hole in the pocket, that the shop smells of “stinky poo pants” or that the man next to me has a big fat tummy like Daddy Pig. When I could push the trolley like a normal human being without one, or three of the children, screaming blue murder because I had dared to touch the trolley and then, to avoid a scene, had to resort to an awkward ‘hip shuffle push’ in the pretence that I wasn’t actually touching the trolley at all and that my kids were, indeed, steering it themselves. Right into the heels of the man infront…

I can only dream of a time when I could try on clothes without the constant screech of, “Shut the curtain!” as the kids flashed my (mismatching) bra and knickers to every passing shopper, when I could leisurely decide which dress to buy without having to get changed at lightening speed while shouting, “Get your head out from under there!”, “Do not press that buzzer!” and, “The next person to touch that curtain is in big trouble!!”. When I could look at new underwear without the kids screaming, “Boobies!!” while they pulled 38DD bras onto their heads, thrust their arms through the straps and shrieked, “My boobies are bigger than yours!” to every passing stranger. When I could wander down the aisles without the kids swinging from the rails, grabbing at clothes, launching themselves on the floor and screaming, “Can I have this?” on repeat, with an uncanny ability of homing in on every pink, sparkly, tacky looking item of clothing, jewellery and hair accessory.

It’s impossible to remember a time when I could make eye contact with a perfect stranger in a shop without them feeling the need to tell me, “I feel for you love!” ,”We’ve all been there,” “It does get easier!” as they give me a sympathetic smile, a pat on the arm and a frosty glare at the kids. When I could bend down to try on some shoes without one of the kids whacking me on the back of the head with a heavy duty, pink, glittery sunglasses case, so hard that I was tempted to whip out my phone and Google symptoms of concussion right there and then. When I could turn my back, just for a moment, and not have to worry that the children would scarper, in three different directions, pelting it down the aisles until I finally found them destroying the display beds, tucking themselves in under the covers and telling me, “We were tired, we just needed a nap!”. And my first thought had not been to berate them, or to snatch them down with shame, instead I had merely thought how inviting the bed looked, how lovely it would be to climb in beside them, lay my head down on the pillow and grab even just a moments sleep!!

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Remember the days when a shopping trip didn’t result in you contemplating whether Matalan sells tequila, when the smirk of the cashier as she tells you, “That’s why I stopped at one!” makes you want to resort to physical violence, when you slam place your children into their car seats and thank the Lord that they are finally contained. When you could simply get into your car without launching into a twenty minute lecture on how to behave in public, bringing out the big guns of, “Just you wait ’til Daddy gets home!”, desperately trying to  ignore the chorus of, “But I wanted that unicorn handbag!!!”. Remember a time when a shopping trip didn’t result in pathetic, self indulgent tears on the drive home, eating two Snickers bars back to back, turning the radio up full whack to drown out the howls of, “But I want to be a good girl now!!” and wondering why you even bother leaving the house some days?

No, me neither.

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102 thoughts on “Shopping+kids=disaster!

    1. Haha I think I’m crazy not brave!! I never learn my lesson, every time I come home from another disastrous shopping trip I say never again!! This time, really – never again!! Thanks for reading! xxx

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  1. I feel your frustration! Shopping can be a difficult experience, most of the time I wish I could be the only person in the store so I could move freely. With children, it sounds 100 times worse. But at the end of the day, online shopping is your saviour #dreamteam

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  2. I LOVE this, and you!!! Oh man I already pretty much exclusively online shop and this has reaffirmed my decision to stick to that, especially if/when we have more kids!! This has had me chuckling away, you described it so perfectly. Hope you’re sorted for your holiday now lovely and that you have a fab time! #dreamteam

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    1. Definitely don’t make the mistakes that I’ve made, although with biscuits and booze I reckon shopping would be way less stressful!! Nowhere near sorted but 9 days to go, I can do this!!! xx

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  3. I feel your pain. Every second of it. Shopping is now the LAST thing you want to do (however badly you need a new jumper, or however tempting the sales are!)… fab post. Have a great holiday!
    #FartGlitter

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  4. I know how frustrating that is, but oh my gosh I couldn’t help but giggle (sorry), but the bra’s and the mine are bigger than yours is so cute when I picture your exceptionally gorgeous children doing that! I had my 3 in the change room with me the other weekend and we were so squished and yes the curtain was still opening and shutting thanks to my 6 year old, but we have to laugh as well as sometimes cry and yes a drink could be handy too. It is easier once they are at school but beware of the weekend shop it still isn’t pretty at ages 12, 9 and 6. Thanks for sharing #mg, HEY come to Melbourne and we will shop kid free and have a ball!

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  5. And that’s why I prefer online shopping nowadays. Shopping with T is a bit like how you described shopping with your little ones. Worse, she’ll add additional stuff in our basket! And once we’ve chosen her stuff, she’ll start whinging and want to either go home or have a bit to eat. Sigh.

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    1. Yes!! My kids constantly just throw stuff in, random things too that we get to the check out and I wonder how the hell it got there! They also have a habit of helping themselves to just about anything, I’m sure they have kleptomania!! xx

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  6. Oh gosh I really hate shopping since having my son at 18 months he loves to grab everything and have had issues of him crying when u won’t let him have something. I can only guess its going to get worse though, I definitely prefer to shop online anyway.

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    1. It’s so embarrassing isn’t it? Nearly as embarrassing at the time my eldest sang Who ate all the pies to a large fella in the car garage, mortified!!!! xx

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    1. Haha yes 12 is a good age. My eldest is 12 and we have amazing shopping trips together, leisurely lunches and he even encourages me to buy things for myself. Perfect! xx

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  7. I’m sure you didn’t have fun, but now it sounds really hilarious. 😀 Since my boy turned 1 or so, online shopping has become my best friend. Groceries – yes; clothes, books, anything else – no, thank you. It’s a disaster indeed. 🙂 #BloggerClubUK

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    1. The only issue with on-line shopping is all of the returns! Standing in the post office queue for half an hour is stressful in itself!! I’m always torn between my sanity and just keeping all of the stuff for when they grow into it! xx

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    1. Oh gosh swimming is even more stressful isn’t it? I’m here thinking the holiday will be a well earned break and yet we have the horror of the changing rooms after swimming to look forward to each day, aghhh!! xx

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  8. Your post made me chuckle! My daughter is only 4 months and shopping is already a nightmare – I have all of the above to come! #fartglitter

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  9. Oh I feel for you and feel a bit bad for chuckling along! Fab pics as always of your gorgeous trio…I can only imagine this is all to come for us, although E has recently become a fan of pulling all the shopping off the conveyor belt as we’re waiting to pay which is a bit inconvenient! Thanks for linking up to the #dreamteam lovely to have you xx

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    1. Haha yes the conveyor belt is a source of amusement isn’t it? The food shop was scrapped a lonnnnng time ago, now it’s all about Tesco delivery as I just couldn’t face another melt down over wanting a packet of biscuits!! xx

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  10. Oh I can actually feel your pain! For me, one of the worst things is – even when I (rarely) go shopping alone, I can’t shake the feeling of needing to get everything done really quickly before it all goes pear shaped! Apparently we will look back on the days fondly…

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  11. You are either brave or insane trying to take 3 kids shopping! Well done for trying. I think you deserve a “me” day on your own, in town, shopping and lunch. Bliss!

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  12. Oh god, yes!! I was with you alllll the way!!! We’ve actually had one of those very shopping trips this week!! Our tesco has a car trolley (front part rideable car, back end actual trolley.) The children go mental for it, and every time we go to the supermarket, it’s always available, just goading me. They absolutely cannot share the car. Whoever isn’t in it will whinge and whinge, until they’re swapped over, then the other takes over the whinging. So this time, we arrived, the sodding car trolley was right outside, and they immediately wanted to get in. I tried forcing them into a normal trolley, but the eldest very calmly said that he would be happy to only have a very short go, and wouldn’t cry about the swap. I was tricked into thinking we’d actually turned a corner (I know, how stupid.) The whinging, screaming and moaning on repeat, all the way around, drove me to the brink of insanity. They pointed at every sugary thing in the entire place, and shrieked like they were being tortured when I said no. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. The message I sent my husband when we got out was ‘I’m never taking those f*****s to the supermarket ever again.’ It’s just sheer hell isnt it?! And I dream of the day I can go shopping on my own!! I would ordinarily have laughed at this post a lot, but the memories of that trip are too raw for me!!
    #bigpinklink

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    1. Hahah sorry this made me laugh, and also feel really glad that it’s not just me!!!! Every time I send my husband a message ranting about it and every time he replies and says, “Why do you never learn??”, These kids are clever though aren’t they? They lull us into a false sense of security and then BAM!! Whining, whinging melt downs!!! Thanks for commenting!! xx

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  13. They get easier as they get older but not by much, LOL! My 9 year old is great for the most part but when his teenage brother is out with us he likes to annoy his brother and that’s when things get interesting…it usually requires a glass of wine by the time I get home, Haha! We mamas know the struggle is real. #momsterlink

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    1. My twelve year old makes the best shopper! We have a fab time together when it’s just the two of us and no-one to wind him up. It’s when there’s more than one, always ends in tears! xx

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  14. OMG Laura you just described my life right there. I too HATE shopping these days and have actually lost my sh*t this week under similar circumstances. i feel your pain ! Thanks for making me feel i’m not the only one on #sharewithme this week

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  15. I laughed and cried with you all the way through this. It is sooooo true! Last week I went to the shops whilst both kids were in school and just wandered without any of the above..rare but bliss! too many mental breakdowns trying to shop with them, thinking its hilarious to hide behind stands whilst i go nuts thinking theyve been taken – oh yeah great times x

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    1. Haha yes! All of this!! My nerves can’t take it, and with just seven days until the holiday I’m going to have to palm them all off next week for the day so I can get all the shopping done without losing the plot entirely!!! xx

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  16. Oh I am crying with laughter and sheer relief that it’s not just me! All of the time. Especially the argument over the shopping trolley. It makes me want to scream “It’s a shopping trolley, I don’t get it! What’s the big deal!” #FridayFrolics

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    1. Haha I know right? What the hell is the deal with the shopping trolley?! I just spent a child free hour in the supermarket, it felt like the equivalent of a spa weekend! xx

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    1. Haha same happened today! Only took the youngest and immediately realised I didn’t have enough bribes! Had to resort to a sausage roll at 10am, crumbs everywhere! xx

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  17. LOL! Oh I love that pic at the end, hilarious! I feel for you!!! I have 3 kids but only one of them is currently old enough to run rings around me in shops…and I’m already at the end of my tether so HOW am i going to survive it when its all 3 of them?!!!
    My favourite is the really loud comments about other people…”Mummy why has that man got long silly hair?”…#Killmenow

    Great post lovely!! Keep calm and shop online!! #fridayfrolics x

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    1. Haha yes! These kids love to embarrass us don’t they? Sometimes you can just laugh it off but other times it is genuinely mortifying. We saw a man in a wheelchair the other week and Megan laughed hysterically while shouting, “He’s too big for a pram!”. I honestly wanted the ground to open and swallow me up. Kids hey? xx

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    1. Haha thank you, I can kind of see the funny side now! I went shopping today just with my youngest thinking it would be a doddle and realised that actually, one is just as bad!! Had to bribe him with a sausage roll!! xx

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  18. Damn girl, I struggle with just the one. But even though I’ve read this, I still want three! I know it’s not meant to make me laugh, but picturing all of them at the store in the bed is lovely and hilarious. You’d never get that moment without them. Side note: they are cuties! I love how candid you are about them, thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

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    1. Thank you. Three is actually a really lovely number, seeing them together makes it all worthwhile. I think the hardest thing for my three is the small age gaps, they are all so close in mentality that there isn’t really one thinking, oh no, we shouldn’t be doing this! They’re all just running around fuelling eachother!! It’s all good fun though, but still….no more shopping!! xx

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  19. Ohhhhh I’m crying with laughter and horror and oh I understand, but I so DON’T understand this with your kids. You must think I’m insane for thinking I relate to this with only one child, you must think I’m a really useless parent as one would be a doddle for you. But seriously, this is a brilliant post…. I think you should have just climbed on the bed too 🙂

    Thanks for sharing on #TheBabyFormula x

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    1. Haha no I know all too well that even one child is bad enough! I took Harry shopping on Monday thinking one would be a doddle and it was just as bad!! I soooo wish I had climbed on the bed and joined them, might have got some funny looks though!! xx

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  20. Reading this makes me thankful that I have two older boys in the house right now to watch the little trolls if I happen to need to run an errand or go to the store. I usually do major grocery shopping when my husband is off work but there is always something that I might need in between. Thanks for making me laugh and I can still relate for there have been times I had no choice but to drag them to the store with me. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink.

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    1. Ahh yes, in a couple of years time Lewis will be old enough to babysit and I shall enjoy leisurely strolls down the aisles of the supermarket and shopping trips with no children. Bliss!! xx

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  21. Completely with you – shopping trips with my two are getting worse & worse! I also hate trying to work out what I need to get before going away, & hate the packing even more!

    Thanks so much for linking up to #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next time!

    Liked by 1 person

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