Tag Archives: shopping


We went out today, Ru and I. We went out.

He was crying and crying, and I just needed some space, some air, so I put him in the pushchair and we went out.

No one messes with me when we go out.  No one. Because I look like a mental person. I mean, I am a mental person – or rather, I’m a person who has mental … mental things – but I look like one now.  Actually fucking look like it. My hair is lank, and falls round my face. Not framing it nicely. Oh no. Just kinda hangs there like the creature from that film The Grudge. It’s clean though my hair, I washed it for the second time this week, so it’s clean.

My eyes are sunken and engulfed by black bags and a stupid sadness which is leaking from I don’t know where.

My skin is awful, breaking out in scabs like I have some kind of infectious disease spreading across my chin, eating my face. Maybe I’ll turn into one big scab.

I don’t bother with nice clothes any more. I have a Muse T-shirt on. From a tour about seven years ago. It has baby sick on the sleeve but it covers my stick figure, hides the sins beneath, so it works.

The tracksuit bottoms I’m wearing, complete with al ittle stain of yellow poo, should go in the wash, or be burned. I would say they are the source of the smell which has been following me around for a few days.

Even the fucking crazies look at me like I’m crazy, whispering behind their hands.

No one messes with me.

The crazy is spreading.  Ru has it. I’m giving it to him in little doses. Maybe that shit travels in breastmilk. He’s wearing a grow that belonged to L. It still has banana stains down the front. Banana never fucking washes out, does it? You ask any parent. Banana stains and Weetabix – that’s what they need to start using to build houses. We’d survive everything if they did that.

The grow is red, and he is grumpy.

No one messes with us.

We went to the pond. Through the estate and down to the duck pond on the edge of the surrounding woodland.

Today there were ducks. Actual ducks floating on the putrid green water. I watched them for a bit with Ru.  He looked grumpy.

No upturned shopping trolley today.  No carrier bags drifting around, mouthes open ready to ingest an unsuspecting moorhen.  Just ducks.

We came back via one if the pathes  which cut through the closes, every second I checked behind us, wondering exactly how quickly I could run wearing flip-flops and pushing a pushchair.

Not very. I don’t think I would run very fast at all.

We got to the shops alive, and I spent a good ten minutes choosing a drink. Coke, Ribena, Lucozade, all twenty-three pence per 100ml. That’s a lot. Expensive.

Too expensive for me. Gotta count the pennies, pay for childcare.  Gotta save up.

Ah, water.

I choose water.

At the till, I’m served by the only looney, and even she eyed  me carefully like I’m some kind of rabid creature. I told her I needed electricity.

‘We were just wondering how old your little girl is.’ She said, looking at me with one eye, the other pointing off to the left.

‘Boy actually.’ I corrected her. It’s rude, isn’t it, to correct someone like that, but I’m crazy. Crazies can do what we like.

She looked embarrased and I pretended I didn’t notice her flushed cheeks.

‘He’s eighteen weeks.’ I removed my card from the machine without paying and it beeps angrily at me.

The girl next to me looked at me with sorrow and pity.

‘My youngest, she’s seven months and she’s half his size.’ She said, like it’s some kind of thing to have a little baby.

Like he’s some kind of transvestite giant baby and I’m to be pitied because I’m there in my mismatched clothes. I suppose she thought I hadn’t done it before.  I didn’t know what to expect, obviously, being stood there with just one child.

Just one child who looks fucking grumpy.

‘Yeah thanks.’ I smiled at her anyway.

She doesn’t know.

I left the shop and gulped back water like there’s no tomorrow.

Time to take my crazy home.

(Disclaimer: This is a brain-dump, semi-fictional account of what happened.)



I’m all for security. I have a good dose of paranoia. I think shoplifters should be prosecuted as they push prices up for the rest of us. Again, a misdemeanor that spoils everything for the general public.

As you are aware, or at least as you should be aware, going to the supermarket is one of my time killing activities. Shoplifting isn’t.

So, I had purchased my selection (some grows for O, some half price shorts for O a couple of games, soup and tiger bread for lunch). I managed to pack them all into the pannier on the pram and my handbag to do my bit for the environment and went to walk out.

*BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP* shoplifter alert.

I didn’t have anything to hide, so I waited. No one came, so I started to walk away.

“Oi, you, back!” A scrawny security guard yells at me as if I were a criminal.  I rolled my eyes thinking his tone and accusatory stare unnecessary.

As an aside, I was pushing the pushchair full of children and carrying my handbag. I know you can’t trust stereotypes, but I wasn’t exactly a young boy wearing a hoody and surrounded by 4 of my “hardest” mates “just in case.”

Because the security guard was so convinced I was doing a snatch and run and because being right turns me into a twat, I went into super helpful mode.

I pulled out the receipt before he could ask and unpacked the bags, trying my very hardest not to be irritated by his attitude towards me.

There were 6 items on the receipt and 6 items now strewn across the nearest cashiers desk.

I asked if he wanted to check my bag for other items and reeled off a list of the things I carry. Notepad, children’s ballet shoes, paracetamol, crayons etc etc. Nope. Didn’t want to check my bag. I ran my hand around the Toddlers seat to make sure she hadn’t grabbed something on the way round. Still no interest. I offered to empty out both children and the shopping basket thing but he shook his head.  He started going through the receipt and immediately spotted the offending item.

Ready to cuff me he said “This isn’t on here.” Smug face. He handed me the £1.70 carrot and coriander soup.

“What?” I said. “But she put it through.’

He eyed me suspiciously. Soup-stealer, his eyes said. How dare you, you mother of two who looks like she hasn’t had time to brush her hair…for at least a week
How dare you!

He showed me the receipt.

JS crt & corndr

First item.

“These aren’t on here.” He switches his focus to the two pack of half price shorts worth a staggering £2.50.

Boys shrts 2pk

4th item.

He was hoping to catch me out.  Probably for the kiddies laptop but that was on there as plain as day.

Still peering at me with suspicion, he packed up all the items bar the laptop and swung them through the sensor.


Obviously disappointed, he handed me the bag.

“Ok. Thank you.” He mumbled, sending me on my way.

I wasn’t pissed off I was stopped. After all the alarms are there for a reason.  I wasn’t even embarrassed as I would rather they caught the thieving shits. What upset me was the power-hungry determination to label me a criminal and slight condescendence.

Sorry matey. No shoplifting mum conviction for you. At least not from me anyway!

The reins of terror

31st July we braved the supermarket with two babies and no pushchair.  What a dumb freaking idea that was.

Toddler wears reins. I know, terrible parent. My bro always had reins and I am terrified she will run off without them, so I put her reins on. I have never before been ashamed of using them…but that Sunday I was.

She pulled, threw herself on the floor, required verbal admonishment. I felt like I was training a dog or small pony, not a small child.  So now I have a moral dilemma (and I’m worried about having marked her)  do we continue to use the reins or let her loose? I cannot stand the thought of her running into the path of an on coming car, but I don’t know how she is ever going to learn to walk nicely otherwise.


We are skint

What part of that don’t you understand?

I’ve spent days panicking about how we’re going to cope.

I’ve written out meal plans, bought cheap everything and kept a close eye on what we’re spending.

You go out for nappies and come home with expensive puddings and chocolate…and God only knows what else.

Then you go on about how you’re treating me.

You just don’t get it do you?

And the rent money is going in your account.

Why do I bother?