When Daddy Chambers headed off to Westport for his friend’s stag party recently, I decided to take Aidan and Sarah to Navan to visit their granny O’Brien.
I figured it was better for me to head off as I’d have adult company for the day, plus, let’s be honest, it’s much handier having Aidan wreck granny’s house rather than my own! Honestly, she doesn’t mind!
The plan was to hang out at the house and let Aidan burn off his infamous energy in her big garden but granny had other plans. She wanted to get out and about so I suggested a local play centre, a visit to cousins who also have small children but no. She wanted to go town for a look around the shops.
“Are you mad?,” I asked. Granny clearly had never experienced Aidan roaming free in a shopping centre but she was about to!
I recently sold my double buggy because himself refuses to go in said buggy so granny headed off into the centre with Sarah in her wheels. I had stern words with Aidan before I released him from his car seat, insisting that he hold my hand at all times.
We barely made it to the top of the escalator and he had broken free and was refusing to hold my hand. First up was a browse around Penny’s. Well, granny and Sarah browsed, I chased my lunatic toddler round the place. When I found him flying up an aisle with a bra on his head, I gave granny the nod and it was time to move on.
Then of course she wanted to have a look in Dunnes Stores so I reluctantly agreed and there was more of the same in there. On a few occasions I thought I lost him but thankfully the security guard was keeping an eye out. The poor man looked dizzy watching my blonde bombshell spin about the place like a Tazmanian Devil!
We left Dunnes and himself then decided he was going to wander (run actually) into a discount home store and was heading straight for the glasses. Thankfully I managed to grab him before there was major damage done but he did attempt to steal a packet of sweets on the way out. All the while, granny stood outside, chilling out and having a chat with her granddaughter. Well for her!
At this stage I was at breaking point but seeing as I was right next to Tesco I decided to brave it and head in as I needed a few supplies. Where’s the first place granny guides Aidan to? The bloody toy aisle! So there he is picking everything that takes his fancy off the shelves and before I can get to him he has most of it out of the packaging and he’s having a great time of it. After a tantrum where he lay down on the ground and screamed, I tucked the stuff back on the shelves and hoped and prayed that no staff member copped what he had done.
I needed to pick up yogurt and bread so I got as far as the dairy aisle and Aidan flung a packet of Actimels on the floor. I grab the yogurt and not being familiar with Tesco in Navan, I ask granny where the bread is. When she tells me it’s down the other end of the shop I swiftly decide that sandwiches are off the menu for the week!
I drag himself by the arm to the self service checkout area and can see an end in sight but Aidan has one last adventure before we headed back out to the confines of granny’s garden. So, are you familiar with the blue plastic tokens you get in Tesco that you can donate to three local charities? Well, he, somehow, managed to get his hands on a few of those, and decided he was going to pay for the yogurt with them. He shoved them into the coin slot in the self service checkout and as a result the computer said an emphatic no! With one hand keeping a firm hold on Aidan I gestured towards the clearly hungover young fella manning the self service area. He looked at the screen blankly and a scan of his employee card and a few codes could not solve this problem. Naturally I didn’t tell him what my Tazmanian Devil had done. With my patience wearing thin I grab the yogurt and quickly move on to the next machine and finally checked out.
Off we headed to the car park. Even Aidan was worn out at the stage but of course there was time for one more bit of drama. As I opened the car door I took my eye off the ball of a second and he managed to break free from my hold and bolted and came so close to being knocked down by a lady reversing into a nearby parking space. My nerves were shot. Only for the fact that I had to drive back to Newbridge that evening I would have ran back into Tesco for a bottle of something to numb the pain!
I bet that’s the last time granny will ask myself and Aidan to go shopping with her!
So fellow parents, please tell me this is just a phase? Oh and to you parents who I see with perfectly behaved children, holding your hand in shopping centres; I HATE you!