Hubbie was still off work this week so we went out and explored the local area. We went to shopping Malls, marvelled at a massive John Lewis and used his iphone to find many a random post office for me to post my orders. We found places we liked and some we didn’t but the trusty sat nav was a godsend in getting us home each time.
We’re not really a family of serious shoppers. I love charity shops and so do the boys but I don’t really do shopping as some people so these days. I don’t find it recreational, it doesn’t relax me and trying to try on anything with 3 children stuffed in a changing room (1 with a ridiculous sense of humour that comes out just at these inappropriate and stressful times. It isn’t funny to look under the cubicles to see if the next one is empty as most women aren’t a fan of this! Also running around the changing room when your mother is half naked and you start swinging on the flimsy curtain is not the best thing to make your mother happy and saying ‘Mummy, you look BEAUTIFUL!’ at the top of your voice does not get you forgiven) is akin to being asked to eat a kangaroos testicle as far as I can see –something to avoid at all costs.
I buy a lot of the boys’ clothes online. I’m lucky that they don’t really mind what they wear so long as the clothes they have in their draws adhere to some sort of unspoken rules. Oliver? Any polo tops he’ll love, any skater boy clothes he’ll wear. Boxers for pants and he couldn’t give a hoot about the socks. Hen? Shorts definitely, even in February. Anything army, pirates or dinosaurs really. In fact if you could get a t-shirt with an army solider pirate being eaten by a dinosaur I think he will have thought that he’d died and gone to heaven…
What I buy the boys generally gets put into their draws. They accept it as to them it’s just always been there. I get the occasional comment of ‘wow! A pirate monkey t-shirt!!! Thanks Mummy!!’ and I secretly pat myself on the back that I’ve saved all our sanities by shopping online. I’ve saved any other shopper from the wrath of my children and, most importantly, I’ve saved my dignity by avoiding the situation of anyone passing the changing cubicle seeing one of my sons swing (brilliantly too which is all the more galling) on the curtain and reveal me semi naked. Yes. We don’t shop. I am smug.
Until today that is…
We visited a toyshop and I know children always badger their parents especially in toys shops but we had had this in Hobbycraft, a computer shop (PC world which I told the children was ‘Pork Chop World’, another one of my white lies that seem to slip out) and in fact any other shop we’d been in on our explorations for the past few days.
I was getting pretty annoyed at this but then it hit me like a bolt of lightning; if we only go shopping when we only really have too, then technically we only ever go into shops and buy something so why would we go into shops this week and not buy something?
I had a quick word with hubby and he agreed that this was probably what was happening. Our boys had rubbish shoppers for parents who were passing this onto their children and we had to act fast. Henry, at this point, was looking lovingly at a nerf gun sword and wanting it. He absolutely couldn’t understand why he couldn’t have it so I took him aside and explained that the shops were full of amazing things that we would love to take home but sometimes we can’t have everything we want. He looked dubious at me and was still talking about the sword at least 20 mins later.
I get stressed shopping therefore I don’t take them shopping, therefore they are a nightmare when we shop. It’s a vicious circle, a self-fulfilling prophecy –I think they’ll be a nightmare so they are. I need to take them into shops so they learn how to behave and learn an important life lesson.
So I want to say sorry in advance if you see a woman with 3 boys treating the shop we’re in an army training camp. You may see them commando roll under the dresses, shoot each other through the socks display and then you may witness the most dramatic (but brilliant) death scene ever to be re-enacted by a 7, 3.5 and 2 year who likes to copy his elder brother’s. You may hear a harassed woman say wearily to her brood ‘for goodness sake, can you not just walk in a straight line to the door???’ And I’m so sorry if you see me red faced, half naked as my son swings on the flimsy curtain that should hide my body from the world (and you). I hope you will forgive me as I try to teach them a valuable lesson that they need to learn and the sooner they learn it the better (for us all) that you can walk into a shop, have a look, and walk out again, not having bought anything.