I can’t remember the last time I went clothes shopping for myself or tried on clothes in a shop. It must have been over a year ago.
Our recent trip to Bluewater was diabolical. So I thought i’d give shopping a second chance today at Southside (it’s smaller, more manageable) and only buy things for myself. Sounds quite straight forward doesn’t it? But the children, it’s like they KNOW. They know that you are planning to treat your self so they decide to try and make the experience as difficult as possible.
For a start, the car is only parked a few metres away from the flat but my lovely daughter decides to run over to the biggest puddle she can find, stares at it for 20 seconds while i’m shouting “Don’t you dare! Come here now!” and then wades straight through it with her Nike Tanjuns on. I lost my sense of decorum for a second and “stupid child” slipped out. People heard – I immediately felt crappy for saying it, but I was annoyed and it happens. So I go back up stairs to get the replacement footwear, I don’t know why I bothered.
We get to Southside, I spot quite a few nice things. OK, this is good. I can actually see a lot of things that I really like, that wont be digging into my belly and won’t make me look twice my age. (Go on H&M with your bad self.) I’m feeling optimistic and loading up the basket; for today i’m hitting the fitting room!
Both my darling children decide to start crying at the same time. I don’t know why the baby was crying because he was fed, changed and winded but he sounded like he was actually shouting; like i’d done something to him. My 2-year-old has no excuse to be crying, she wasn’t in pain and she can speak. But for about 20 minutes i’m trying to persevere with shopping and trying to hush them both. I’m determined to make this work. They are determined to make me look like a bad mother.
My daughter decides to take her shoe and sock off 14 times. By which point I get fed up of growling at her and I confiscate the shoe and the sock. So now she’s crying with snot running down her face and one naked foot. I keep asking her why she’s crying and what she needs, but all she wants to tell me is “No, I don’t want it”… OK then.
The baby is still protesting and now I feel like I shouldn’t have come shopping. The other shoppers are not understanding why my children are both crying and why one of them is partially dressed. All they can see is a woman with 2 distressed children and she has the CHEEK to be shopping for clothes instead of attending to their needs. (They are not distressed, it’s all an act. I AM DISTRESSED.) I need to look presentable sometimes too. Not everyday leggings and pyjama top underneath the coat, it’s getting warmer; the coat is going to need to come off at some point.
We get to the fitting room (the disabled one, because my double-decker pram won’t fit anywhere else) and the kids are just get louder and louder; it’s so embarrassing. People must think I’m beating them.
The fitting room was a refuge from all the side eyes. I try to feed the baby but he’s just licking my chest and my daughter looks like she wants to fly kick me. I’m thinking to just forget about the clothes and go home.
No! Why shouldn’t I buy myself new things? I deserve it. My children are clean, fed, warm (maybe not the naked foot) and watered. I know that they are just playing up. Why I am worrying about what other people think of us? If they want to make noise, let them make noise. I dare someone to say something to me.
And as soon as I had that ‘give no f**ks’ moment; the children were quiet. I believe that your children can feel your vibes without you even saying anything. To tell the truth I was anxious about this shopping trip from the beginning. Wondering if I would find anything that actually looks good on my post-baby body or if I would just end up going home p*ssed off, depressed and empty-handed like the last time. Had I just been relaxed in the first place, maybe my children would have been too?…