Supermarket Suffering

I’m an adult, I mutter to myself as I wait outside Sprog’s classroom to collect her. I’m an adult and I can handle this. It’s not helping. I’m an adult, yes, but I’m a young adult, who has to juggle parenting with no childcare and running a home and now, work. An adult who isn’t very good at organising that many things at once, due to lack of experience. 

An adult who is not looking forward to doing our fortnightly shop in Tesco, on a Friday after being at work all day, with the Sprog in tow. No no no. This is not ideal at all. However, my sheer lack of time and organisational skills lately makes it necessary.

As I try to attach Sprog’s various bags and bits of tat to her person so that I don’t have to carry them all, I contemplate just not going. I debate living off takeout for a week, but Sprog bumping directly into someone drags me back to the reality that I am no longer a pizza-scrounging student. Focusing on the fact that my six year old has no spatial awareness whatsoever, I guide her through the crowds outside school and find a good spot to wait for a taxi. I wonder if standing her in one of the extra deep trolleys at Tesco will get me told off by the security guard, and why they don’t make prams for gormless six year olds such as my own.

After fifteen minutes in the rain our taxi arrives and we make it to Tesco in one piece. When we get out, Sprog immediately bumps into the nearest bypasser and I mutter for fuck’s sake under my breath. Tesco is chaos; it would possibly have been less busy if the apocalypse had just been announced and people were rushing to stockpile food. Seriously.

Tips for those of you who may be shopping, with or without children, in ANY supermarket in ANY circumstances ever:

  • Do not stand smack in the middle of the aisle. Ever. Not to talk to an old friend you just spotted, not to rearrange items in your trolley, not to lean back in a thoughtful pose while you um and ah over which cheese to buy. Just DON’T.
  • Use your f***ing eyes. I don’t mean to sound so bitter but the sheer number of people who walk right into us every time we go shopping is concerning. I understand that you’re looking at the shelves too, but maybe look where you’re going once in a while.
  • Control your kids. This one is easier said I guess, but there’s a difference between your child having a bit of a strop and your three kids tearing through the supermarket on their scooters while you bask in the safety of the wine aisle – I know this sounds like some parents’ dream but please, please don’t leave your kids to run free in the shop. It’s dangerous.

After an hour of fighting crowds and forcing our way past restocking carts we had finished our shopping – complete with a crate of wine and some sort of blind-bag-type collectable toy called a LOL? Cost £7.90 so it best be good! – and we stood in the rain waiting for a taxi. We came home to crappy cartoons and a mediocre rushed tea of jacket potatoes, and I have never been so grateful to be back home at 5!

I just want to understand why shopping in supermarkets is so difficult. Is it me? Am I doing it wrong? Or do other people mutter numpty every two minutes during their big shops too? Do let me know! 

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