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Remember back in the days when you still had a flat stomach and full control of your pelvic floor and you used to look at the bedraggled mothers at the shopping mall all loaded up with shopping bags and grimly pushing a stroller with a screaming child in it and wonder why on earth they didn’t just stay at home?

It really wasn’t that long ago that I swore I wouldn’t take my kids to a place they clearly hated in order to ruin it for everybody else there, but yesterday there I was, that exact person.

With three hours to kill while my car was being serviced and with the beautiful red and white stocktake sale signs calling my name I actually thought Rafferty and I would spend a nice afternoon wandering around my local shopper’s paradise. He was in a lovely mood and I fancied taking my time, finally getting a few things I really needed and stopping to give shop assistants the opportunity to admire his great big smile and beautiful big blue eyes while he charmed them with his cheeky laugh.

Now, back when it was just two of us, Garrett and I would head to the mall and I would beg him for us to split up for an hour so that he could do whatever and I could spend a happy sixty minutes on my own, picking things up and putting them down again. Sure enough, I would barely make it past the perfume counter and there he would be, standing right behind me and asking “Can we go now?”

So what made me think that a shopping outing with my son would be any different? He hasn’t even hit the five month mark yet but he seriously opposes the whole concept. He enlightened me to this fact after about twenty minutes at the mall by simply, utterly starting to scream his lungs out, with shrieking wails that could be heard from the food court to the nail salon. The tears were streaming, and such was the volume of his discontent that I actually started to fear that something was seriously wrong with him.

It was clearly time to go. However, a few things made this much more difficult than it should have been.

Firstly, the pram containing my howling baby is super cool and very easy to use, but it’s also HUGE. I suspect it was actually designed for wheeling around baby elephants. I am forever getting stuck between the tables in cafes and walking it into doorways. Secondly, the one thing I had managed to purchase was a brand new suitcase (half price… and so light!!!) which meant I couldn’t take the baby out of his pram and carry him, giving me no choice but to leave him to bellow at the top of his lungs, startling all who came within earshot.  Finally, getting out of a shopping mall when you can’t use the escalators takes up pretty much half of the free three hours that you’ve got in the car park (another surprising lesson of motherhood).

That giant pram makes any store an obstacle course, and getting to the exit involved a lot of bumps, backing out and apologising to other shoppers. Then, once I finally made it to the lift, which is located in a dark, distant corner as far away from all the good shops as you can possibly get, it was a five to ten minute wait and then (does this happen to you?) the doors opened and it was crammed full of other mothers with their humvee sized prams and screaming progeny that there was no room for us to squeeze in.

What felt like an hour later, making my way across the car park, I spotted a young girl, all biker boots and leggings and a top that doesn’t even cover her butt giving me THAT look and it was all I could do not to scream at her “One day this will be you!!”

When Raff and I finally got to the car I pulled my little angry bird out of his colossal chariot and you guessed it – he looked up at me and giggled.

Looks like I’ll be shopping online for at least the next ten years.

Do you brave the shopping mall? How do you make it easier on your kids and yourself?

  • yeah life is never the same once you have kids. shopping becomes a major adventure lol


    • also when my children where little, they absolutely were just fascinated by looking at the lighting on the ceiling (great when they are laying in a pram) and a lot of places are designed now, to make the most of natural lighting and a view to the outside

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  • I prefer not to subject other people to my kids when they are in a mood. I either leave them at home or leave immediately if they kick off.

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  • lol!! ive reached the shopping centre tantrum age now…. its horrible

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  • Very tempting when they put chocolates next to the checkouts

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  • I like how you write! These maddening episodes are always so funny when they happen to someone else : )

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  • I always feel sorry for mums whose kids muck up when they are shopping – the little devils certainly know how and when to make a scene.

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  • I don’t know which is worse a crying baby, often a good reason for it even if it is tiredness…. or a toddler who tries to avoid being strapped into the kiddy seat on the shopping trolley, then tries to grab things off the shelves, possibly a tantrum or two……or a school age child who tries to wander off, takes things off the shelves and puts them in the trolley when you are looking at something else (and they have to be put back and a tantrum starts, possibly with more to follow). At this age they are more likely to think they can decide which brand you buy too. (one of my recent experiences)
    I also had a couple of bad experiences with taking my nieces shopping. Not long after 2 young children were abducted from a sports venue, we were in a discount variety store when my two nieces spotted a pillar that had full length mirrors a few metres away and decided to have some fun. Mum and I were alarmed knowing what had happened and started calling them to come back as we were searching adjoining clothing racks. We told them it was naughty and not to do it again. After we got home we calmly explained to them the reasons why they weren’t not to ever leave the side of whoever they were with in the shops or away from home (the youngest one hadn’t started school so we had to vary the wording a bit) We explained about the little girls that somebody had taken away and how it can happen anywhere if children as small as them don’t stay with their parents, relatives (we gave them examples) and friends of their Mum and Dad………The other one happened when we took the kids shopping with us. The younger one was sitting in the seat of the trolley. While Mum and I were busy putting our groceries on the checkout, the younger one leant over and pushed the buttons of the cash register section of the checkout equipment and the till sprung open as it wasn’t locked. Fortunately it didn’t have any cash in it. We were very embarrassed. When we told her parents we found out she had done it a few times before. They had overcome it by both parents doing the shopping, one unloading the trolley at the back of the counter and pushing it straight through to the other end tp the other parent. I informed them they could have warned us as they knew we went shopping when we were babysitting then for weekends quite regularly.

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  • Shopping with kids is not the same!

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  • I think we have the same mammoth pram

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  • It’s just way too hard to go

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  • never with the kids IF I can avid it

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  • I’ve just started online shopping for food shopping. Why didn’t I do this long ago? Now I can stay home with my child who likes monkeying all over the trolley haha

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  • I love shopping with my son.. Until he spots the ride on machines!


    • The shopping is the okay bit, it’s when they see those rides or game places, oh dear haha.

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  • Good read thanks for the information

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  • I hate shopping with my daughter, I just have a look 1 dress and she is already running and gone nowhere.

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