We all know leaving the smallies at home while you shove the trolley round the supermarket is the best way to save on your grocery bill. Ditto the daddies.
But sometimes it is necessary for them all to tag along. And be present in the changing rooms. And at your side as you queue for that longed for coffee. Even if it is just a take-out.
Recently I left my four alone at the table in the café. Mister Husband was queuing for the coffees and I scooted across to the smoothie bar. I glanced over to ensure one or some of them weren’t sawing the legs off the table. They weren’t. But Smallest Boy was on all fours on top of it, roaring like a lion as the other three laughed and egged him on.
Sometimes they are just there. With you. All the time.
When we are executing Family on Tour: The Supermarket Experience this is the list of stuff my boys find it necessary to con/pester me into buying.
Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Blue Polka Dot Bikini Pants
Smallest Boy was helping me with my swimwear shop. He descended with great excitement and pride on a pair of “underpants” and announced in his Outside Voice that they were “in my size” and everything.
These might as well be iron filings and my kids magnets such is their attraction to them. I always end up with 33 blank lottery sheets in the bottom of the trolley as the boys fight over which one is the winning ticket. It has escaped their understanding you have to fill in some numbers first. No-one, to the best of my knowledge, has ever scooped the jackpot with a blank ticket.
Animal Print LED Torches
It was a toss-up between the giraffe or the tiger print one. I spent the rest of the supermarket experience being blinded by a bright white beam trying to sear my iris’s shut.
Anything down the Home Wares Aisle
In fairness to them they believe they are helping me by selecting a new weighing scales (Are you saying I’m fat?) non-stick baking items (they just want me to make cookies) and tea lights (ok, I could use those).
Jungle Print Undies
The more garish the colour and print, the better. Do I look like a Kardashian person? Nuh-uh! Please put back the pink leopard print piece of dental floss that you are waving over your head and kindly stop yelling “do you like this one, Mammy?” Also I can select my own “booby warmers” thanks muchly.
And then sometimes, sometimes, when I am picking all the crap out of the buggy before I fold it up to load it in to the car, I find little surprises in the bottom.
In amongst all the empty kinder egg inserts and useless Happy Meal toys. Surprises like the odd €uro store item thrown in. Once I found one of those eye shadow pencils which is basically a blender thingy. I was particularly pleased with the
boy who threw that one in as I had been looking for one for ages.
Recently I discovered a bumper pack of boy's white underpants on my approach to the exit. There was also a pair of slippers, very similar to my own and a swimming trunks.
All dutifully removed and hung up with the ear-rings and a stern warning issued to Mister Husband about being more vigilant or I will end up barred from Penney’s.
I could cope with the mortification of being asked to accompany a burly security guard to the office. Followed by a possible arrest. But being barred? From Penneys? That I could not live with.