Full disclosure. I like going supermarket shopping.
There, it’s out.
There’s something about an unnaturally overlit store with shiny produce I didn’t know I needed that I just enjoy.
With children it altered the experience, but in a good way.
When we first had Emma, I don’t know about you, but just physically getting out of the house became an achievement in its own right. And around about that witching hour time of day (you know, that hour before you can reasonably have the ‘well deserved’ glass of wine) I found that a trip to the local Sainsbury’s was perfect. I’d truss her up in our front carrier, where she could be up with me and see all that was going on, I had my hands free and perfect strangers could have a quick coo and… we would enjoy it. I could chat to her, stroke her head and tell her all that was going on… and as she got older I’d pop her in the trolley seat to push her round. Our new games then became ‘How many items of shopping can I hand you and how long can you hold them in your hand before you drop it dismissively?’ and ‘Ooh, I wonder if you can unwrap that babybel before I’ve finished the rest of that shopping?’
I gained company – a shopping companion – and it became a Mummy/ Emma ritual. It felt weird when I went without her.
It also reminded me of going shopping with my own mother (*waves*). Things you did with your parents come back to you when you have children of your own don’t they? I remember standing on the trolley as she pushed it round and the Friday treat of what ready meal should we choose? (oh those heady days when we knew no better. I miss them).
With Alex it has been the same, although with added layers. I’ve always taken him, ever since he was little. He fitted in the bucket seat way longer than any child would do usually but he loved to lie there and I’d chat to him whilst he stared up at the lights. When, finally, it was time to admit he was really a long way over the limit for those seats we took the step of moving to the toddler seats. Anyone who saw me trying to get him into this would have laughed at the comical nature of my trying to feed his legs through the holes. With Gary or Emma with me it was fine but if I was on my own… half the time I managed it, half the time I had to ask a passing stranger to help me thread his legs through. They were always incredibly obliging.
As first he wasn’t actually sitting up so we’d prop him up with coats, scarves, magazines and as he wobbled his way round the shop I like to think it helped his core strength! It was just important that we were able to do it. How… Didn’t really matter.
Alex – as I’ve mentioned before – really unfurled after this time. He became engaged with the world. He would flap and chat his way around the shop and people responded to him. They smiled at his antics, the staff in the shop have got to know him and they come and say hello – and he has become acclimatised to people and noise. And once he worked out what his hands were for he’d happily – in the same way his sister did – take items from me, play with them for a while then drop it without warning on the floor. Ooh sorry Mummy *grins*.
Of course, he hasn’t stopped growing and we faced quite the quandary as he got bigger and heavier. We couldn’t keep using the toddler seat forever. The idea of not taking him, of not including him in this most basic social activity (we always, without fail, meet someone we know and they’re always so lovely to Alex)… it made me sad. It marked a moment in time where the world wasn’t keeping up with him. We could go without him, online shop or just do small shops, hang a bag off the back of his pushchair. All not ideal, all not inclusive.
Hello lovely Firefly chair.
I love it. I just love it.
It looks comfy, he’s secure whilst still maintaining freedom of movement and I can talk to Alex whilst we move round the shop as he is facing me and (here’s an unusual housewife-moment bonus) because the seat eats up a little trolley space I have to be a little circumspect about shopping. Or pack it as carefully as we used to layer our salads from Pizza Hut. Far more importantly… we get to keep doing those little ‘together’ things that don’t mean a lot individually, but add themselves up to a whole family life.
Thank you for helping us maintain that.