Step 1: Leave the house
HA! JUST KIDDING.
Leaving the house will never be simple again. Factor in time for an unexpected poo-splotion, a ravenously hungry baby, a toddler who won’t wear shoes and a nappy bag that needs cramming full of stuff you definitely won’t use at a supermarket. This can take anywhere up to two hours. Try not to catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror at this point as it may discourage you from leaving the house ever again.
Oh and one more thing…. where are your &8$%ing keys?!
Step 2: The car journey
Once you have fathomed the logic of how to get both children safely and securely in the car, treat yourself by listening to something other than Cbeebies theme songs by turning on Radio 1. Suddenly feel incredibly old when you realise you’ve never heard of these songs/bands/presenters and immediately turn it over to Heart.
Black Box – Ride On Time. That’s better.
Take this opportunity to prepare the toddler by saying things such as “are you going to be a good boy in the trolley?” (he’s not) and “Are we going to have fun at the shops?” (you won’t.) Also take this opportunity to give yourself a pep talk on how you really mustn’t buy doughnuts. Again.
Step 3: The Car Park/ Trolley Dash
Arrive at the supermarket and pull into a Parent & Child space. With two under two, these spaces now feel like your birthright. Woe betide anyone parked there who looks child free.
Right. Now what? How do I get them both in the trolley? What do I do with the small one while I put the big one in? How do I even get them both out the car at the same time? Realise this was a terrible idea and that Ocado exists for a reason.
Step 4: Do Your Shopping
Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Between the old ladies telling you how beautiful she is (it’s a boy), the dodgy wheel on the trolley and the toddler wanting to eat EVERYTHING he can see, you are lucky to get 5 items that you actually need. Top your trolley with nappies in differing sizes to remind you of your sole purpose in life at the moment. A brutal, expensive yet necessary cherry on the cake. The baby will now let out a sound which is undeniably a poo. Ignore it. It might go away.
Step 5: Payment
It is at this point that the toddler will inevitably lose his shit. Nobody likes to queue, especially not 18 month olds, and to add insult to injury you are going to prize that tube of toothpaste out his hand and he REALLY likes it. He will now throw a tantrum and everyone will look at you. Just pretend it’s not happening and thank your lucky stars that you aren’t in John Lewis. Calmly say things like “Shall we do some colouring when we get home?” to make it look like you have totally got this, or desperately offer snacks.
You will of course have left the carrier bags at home. Treat yourself to a Bag for Life, you deserve it.
Step 6: Returning Home
Once again the logistical quandary of how to get two small children in the house and now 4 bags of shopping. (Oh, and the nappy bag that you didn’t once use.)
For the record it’s shopping in first, followed by small child in the car seat and bigger child last – he can do the most damage. He will of course feel abandoned and you will need to reward him with a babybel. (Thank goodness they were on offer for £1)
Unpack the shopping whilst the baby naps and the toddler smears cheese on the carpet, only to discover you forgot to get any SHITTING milk which is the only thing you went in there for.
Oh well. A black coffee and a doughnut it is.