(Originally posted March 25, 2008)
MY husband thinks I exaggerate when I tell him how stressful it is taking our children shopping.
They are as good as gold when he is there, sitting in their car seats without turning into a ‘plank’ (a fun way of preventing mummy from strapping them in), holding hands as they walk in front of us, pretending they haven’t noticed the huge display of Christmas treats that loom in front of them in Marks & Spencer like some huge chocolate landmark.
To be fair it’s usually innocent-looking little Mia who instigates the terror. Dan just blindly follows where she leads.
So I thought it was time to treat hubby to a Mia Shopping Experience.
We took the children to have their feet measured. Straight there, straight back, no “boring mummy shops” inbetween.
I think he gets it now.
Mia sat and had her feet measured, chose her hugely inappropriate shoes, tried them, walked up and down the store for the assistant who wears the permanently surprised look on her face of someone who has seen Hell and Destruction pass through their doors in the shape of bored children in need of new shoes.
My daughter was a model child and this assistant is radiating a ‘this must be some mum’ look about her.
But I knew what was to come. For when it was Dan’s turn, Mia was bored.
She jumped on the feet measuring machine thing (which, to be fair, does actually look like a climbing frame), ran off down the rabbit warren of isles where all the shoes are stored floor to ceiling and then appeared when we were just beginning to panic wearing a pair of adult’s red wellington boots she’d found somewhere.
They were so large on her that she couldn’t bend her knees and she walked towards us like some deranged robot shouting ‘look at me mummy, I’m a grown up’.
Ah yes, this is more like the nightmare I am used to.
My mum tells me I’ve only got myself to blame. When I was two she lost me in the Broad Street branch of Allied Carpets, a huge store on the main drag in to Birmingham city centre.
They scoured the store in a frenzy. Mum and the manager were outside the shop in a real panic and just about to phone the police when they noticed a small pair of feet peeking out of a giant roll of carpet in the shop window . . .