A little trip to the shops, surely shes old enough to cope with that? Surely I'm able to cope with that? The Boss and I have had so many tantrums in shopping scenarios its put me off for life. But its ok now, right? Wrong! Thought we'd make a little trip to the local shopping capital to get some sheets for the bed (what an riveting life i lead). TK Maxx, I'd been informed, was the place to go.
So, off we trundled on the overground, happy smiley faces all round. This is fun! Heading to the aforementioned shop all giggles and grapes I actually felt a bit like a rabbit in headlights.. totally out of my depth.. already stressed. I'm literally shoving breadsticks into The Boss's hands. Then we're in. Goodness, what a wilderness of stuff.. so many things.. who needs all this gear? Right, stop looking at the plates with want, stop browsing the unnecessary garden furniture, I'm here for sheets. Ah, is this it? Simon Cowell would even turn his nose up at some of these. Revolting. Beyond vile. Then there's the selection that'd keep the Pat Butchers of this world happy... hmmm probably come on the wrong day. Lets go. But hang on a minute, whats this? Sunglasses, swimwear, jeans - all the brands, at a fraction of the price? I'm dragged in, and I'm not kicking and screaming, I'm walking in of my own free will.
What am I doing? I'm insanely broke, don't really need these things and have a bored toddler screaming for toys that are most conveniently placed next to the pay counter. I mean, she's wailing, shouting at full volume. I'm so embarressed but instead of just walking, I feel some kind of insane sense of shopping morality: you're making a scene, make up for it by spending the little money you have in their shop. I should have just left albeit with a toddler verging on the edge of madness under my arm. I leave about an hour, two swimsuits and a couple of pairs of sunglasses later. They're nice. I'm weak.
We then go to an 'indoor playgroup' that I've read about on the wibbly wobbly web. It sold itself on having a bouncy castle and cupcakes at 80p. How bad could it be? We walk up to the door, which looks like the entrance to the sort of club you'd frequent if you lived in a seaside town, I open it and am greeted with the cacophony of screaming kids and rabbiting mothers meetings. A normal playgroup! I hear you cry. Its wasn't. Its a terrifying nightmare of a playgroup. The kind of playgroup that, if they had one, would be languishing in hell. Can someone please open an indoor playgroup that doesn't stink of poo and resemble a wet weekend at Butlins? Without a thought I turn round and flag the nearest bus home. The Boss is fine with that.
Phew, home at last. If that's what going to the local shopping centre is all about I'll stick with my little village please.