Today was my final day of maternity leave and my husband also had a day off work, so we had a family day out. It wasn’t a day out in the ‘going to the beach or the zoo’ sense… instead we headed north of the river to buy a couple of items we needed for our forthcoming holiday.
As is usually the way when shopping with a toddler, we were bombarded with requests for dressing up outfits, plastic toys and socks with characters from ‘Frozen’ on them as we browsed the aisles. She wanted almost every item she saw.
Then she got more tired; she became more stroppy and she pushed her luck (the Tuesday Tantrum Coefficient theory in action again…see https://thelifeofericablog.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/tuesday-tantrum-coefficient/ for details). When she was told that she could not scale the climbing wall in the Go Outdoors outlet until she is a bit older, she stormed off with her best sulky teenager expression before hiding amongst a rail of hiking trousers and then making off towards the tents department at speed. At this point all dignity went out of the window (not that I have much dignity left these days) and I gave chase and carried her out of the shop while she screeched into my left ear.
The screeching, moaning and sulking had just about abated by the time we adjourned to Nando’s for lunch. Bethan and Catrin both helped themselves to my salad leaves as a sort of self-foraged side order to their own food.
With full bellies we headed back towards home via Tesco. Strangely, the customer in front of me at the checkout piled her purchases onto the conveyor belt and I couldn’t help but notice that her selection of foodstuffs consisted almost entirely of different varieties of chocolate mousse. Plus one bottle of shower gel which she placed separately on the conveyor. After the checkout lady had (very slowly indeed) processed each of the chocolate mousses and the shower gel, and the customer had paid in small change and vouchers, the checkout lady said to the customer “see you again on Thursday” (to which the customer affirmed with a nod). Maybe she likes to mix it up a bit and Thursdays are strawberry trifle and shampoo days?
My thoughts turned back to work on our return home. My parents arrived at dinner time after a long journey South into the land of traffic jams, dodgy accents and summery temperatures. I was very grateful to see them. From tomorrow they will stand guard on the home front, ready to leap into action at a moment’s notice with a nappy, a cuddle or some nourishment…whilst I go back to swearing at photocopiers and other items of office equipment.
Feeling anxious and thinking about ironing a pair of trousers, I lost the battle to keep my eyes open.