Tag Archives: Shopping

The new you: seven things that become the norm after kids

Norm after kidsAs I was devouring my sandwich at 12.01pm, it struck me that my standard lunchtime is now at least an hour earlier than it used to be. I didn’t even have my children with me at the time so had no excuse. They’ve just left an indelible imprint on my routine in so many ways. And it’s not only premature lunches, the new me is all about:

  1. The supermarket sweep – I’m not blessed with time (who is?) but even when it’s just me and my Morrison’s shopping basket, I still seem to find myself rushing around the aisles, grabbing packets like a big timer’s about to go off. I’m just not able to browse anymore.
  2. Same with clothes shopping. Once a procrastinator, now I enter, scan the shop floor and leave in 60 seconds flat. What happened to the days of leisurely trying on armfuls of clothes?
  3. The yawn and stretch at 9pm – you could set my FitBit by it. Somehow the bedtime of my childhood (remember the bongs of the 9 o’clock news?) has come back to haunt me and I definitely see 9pm as some kind of watershed. It’s a firm reminder that sleep is near.
  4. The tissue stuffing – I can’t leave the house without tucking a couple of tissues into my pockets, my handbag or my coat. Even if I’m going to a business meeting.
  5. Taking my own water everywhere – it’s not as if it’s not readily available, but I can’t cross the threshold here without clutching a Highland Spring bottle hastily refilled from the tap. It’s obviously much more eco-friendly to re-use and not buy a new one but I also think the kids’ obsession with their colourful water bottles has rubbed off on me.
  6. The National Trust car sticker – once the preserve of those at least a few decades older, suddenly it’s an indispensable accessory and I’m not alone. People my age seem to out number pensioners by 20 to 1 at any given property, come rain or shine.
  7. And how much more preferable is a day in a country park ticking off 50 things before you’re 11 3/4 than a simple night out? When did a drink down the pub start to feel like a military operation rather than an enjoyable way to pass the time?

It goes without saying that I wouldn’t change a thing (apart from maybe embracing the odd night out a bit more readily).

The ABC of a first Christmas


A is for ‘all’
As in ‘all together’ for a lovely family Christmas and ‘Having it all’, as Scrip’s present count was ridiculously high. So much so that we reached bedtime and still had a wide range of colourfully wrapped boxes under the tree. There was I, rushing around Westfield the week before Christmas, panicking that I hadn’t bought her enough, when I could have actually just picked up a bag of satsumas and we still would have filled a car with her haul. The ‘all together’ bit was the best, though. I couldn’t have wished for more.

B is for ‘bubbles’
Not particularly festive but it was Scrip’s first proper word, recently uttered, and it’s led to lots of others – although maybe we’re imagining some. So far various family members have claimed to witness her attempts at ‘paper’, ‘bird’ and ‘Grandma’. If she did say the last one, in particular, she’s made someone special very happy.

C is for ‘carols
Actually, not just carols but songs in general have been a major Christmas hit. Now that Scrip’s clapping has been perfected, any music – from the sugary children’s songs I bought on my mad shopping dash to the theme for Desert Island Discs – prompts a smile, a clap and a bounce. And sometimes even a ‘sing’ along.

As we prepare to brave Scrip’s first post-Christmas sales, and I reflect on the merriest of first Christmases, I could have written a whole alphabet of happy memories.