I've never been much of a one for shopping. Security staff scrutinise me as I stand immobilised by apathy near store exits while companions contentedly browse. The vicarage laundry basket brims because I lose the power of motion before reaching detergents at the far end of the supermarket.
In the past I surmounted this deficiency by wearing clothes till they shredded and rinsing the vicarage smalls in Head & Shoulders. Now, however, I have children and my children persist in growing and currently scarcely a month goes by without an emergency dash round shoe shops to replace essential footwear. And on these occasions I marvel that I used to deem shopping a hardship for high streets with two kids in tow are like this:
11yo: Oh my gosh, Mum, I need this pore eraser.
Me: You don't need it; you want it.
11yo: Mum, you're so medieval. Make up is my life!
9yo: What are 18 nines?
11yo: I've got to get it!
Me: What is pore eraser?
9yo: MUM, 18 nines?
Me: Um ...
11yo: You don't even know what instant pore eraser is!
9yo: What are seven 14s?
Me: Um...is this homework?
9yo: I'm counting the lightbulbs in the ceiling.
11yo: Mum, I cannot live without these heels. Can you lend me the money?
9yo: Did you know there are 329 lightbulbs in the Asda in Kingston?
Me: You are not having heels like that.
9yo: There are 98 lightbulbs in this store.
11yo: Get with it, Mum! Just 'cos you wear fashion like Henry VIII in the 18th century...
Me: 16th century.
11yo: What's the point of knowing when some old king died when you don't know what instant pore eraser is!
9yo: MUM, I've just made the biggest mistake of my life!
Me: Heck, what?
11yo: Tell him not to interrupt!
Me: Goodness, what's wrong?
9yo: I've just realised - it's not 98 lightbulbs, it's 72!
What's shopping like with your young 'uns?