Sunday, 18 November 2012

Shopping + Children = insanity never to be repeated

Last week I learnt an important lesson - never ever take a toddler clothes shopping, even if there is a gun is held to your head.

To be honest, I'm not a big shopping fan at the best of times - all that choice and then the hassle to find your size and the raging optimism that the 'fitted' frock will somehow make you two sizes smaller, just because it is black... only to discover with bitter disappointment, that you have in fact developed back fat - and its giving you two extra boobs you never knew you had. Miserable experience. Don't get me started on the lighting, the sweaty cubicles, the glares from the queue waiting as you pop out to get another size... blah blah...

Even shoe shopping no longer thrills me: I shove a trotter into some stilts that I wobble precariously across the store in, knowing it would only take three vodkas or a cobbled pavement and I'd be over on my ankle before you could holler 'mutton dressed as....' Plus, my life is spent running between kids, surfaces and dishes to wipe - so let's not pretend I would ever have an occasion to wear 'party' shoes.

So I get why my daughter was lying sprawled across the floor in ZARA kids - wearing a hat for an eight year old - refusing to take it off and howling like she was on fire. I shuffled off leaving my poor Mother to try and persuade Sproglette to get up, while all around other parents either tutted or gave sympathetic looks. I joined in, 'who does that child belong to?' as I hid amongst all the pretty dresses and funky coats. I'd never been in ZARA kids before (even though I'm a big fan of ZARA for myself) but I am a covert. The kids clothes are amazing - to the point that I wish they did them in my size. Not that I'd be rocking a tulle skirt - well not on the school run anyway. Anyway, Sproglette was having none of it - no matter how pretty or sparkly or fluffy an item was - she squirmed, wriggled and eventually caterpillared away from my Mother's grip - refusing to try on any garment apart from one silver shoe. I grabbed a few clothes and we beat a hasty retreat.

Previously I'd pretty much got most of the kids' clothes in GAP or a supermarket. Kids wear out clothes so quickly that I don't really see the point in spending a fortune on them - but I make an exception for a decent coat - that they'll wear day/day out for as many winters as I can get out it. With that in mind, and the horror of that day's shopping jaunt fresh in my mind I darted about online and found these guys. There is a parka there even Liam G would have loved back in his hayday before he went all country gent. Turns out they have a shop in north London - that I won't be venturing to until my daughter can drive us there and behave herself - but it looks gorgeous. White and bright and filled with things that you buy for your kids and secretly want for yourself. The kind of stuff that career mothers know about and you never do, because you're busy and hassled and usually grabbing some t-shirts of Sainsburies shelves thinking 'that'll do...' While I'm on the subject of shelves -  they also do the nicest bookshelves I've ever seen for any room, let alone a kids' one.

I also found this place - which opened in West Hampstead in London, annoyingly after I moved out of the area... the kind of shop where you wish you could tell everyone to buy you gifts from when you are up the duff, but you can't really be that rude. But if you have a mate getting ready to sprog, or like me has a toddler they don't like leaving the house with at the best of times, then you could do worse than swing by here and grab them something cool.

The moral of my tale, is that the internet was invented for a reason - so that Mothers don't have to stalk clothes aisles, stripping their children in the middle of Marks and Spencer angrily whispering 'no one is looking, just try them on,' or stuffing miserable toddlers with sweets just so they'll fight their way into a jumper or two... So grab a glass of vino, your credit card and a comfy chair and get shopping - and honestly, it is almost a pleasurable experience.



Anonymous said...

You should write a novel. You're writing is amazing.

Crummy Mummy said...

Whoever wrote that - I think I love you x