Taking delivery of the supermarket is one of the highlights of the week, rivalling even the weekly 7am visit of the bin lorry. The children wait expectantly at the window for the van to draw up. They crowd the door when the driver arrives, waiting hopefully for him to pass them one of the lighter bags and then they rummage excitedly through the contents, expressing delighted surprise at a pineapple, a dozen eggs or a tube of tomato purée.
There was a time when we drove to the supermarket ourselves and, list in hand, trailed up and down aisles collected our weekly shop, a baby asleep in the sling throughout. And that time passed.
The children still love a trip to the supermarket now of course. And undoubtedly an excursion with a “Double Toddler” (trolley with two toddler seats) can make for a pleasant and practical afternoon activity. That is as long as you follow a few guidelines. Firstly, don’t ever let them out of the trolley to “help push”. It won’t help. It could become very chaotic, very quickly.
Secondly, don’t spend more than eight seconds stationary, for example, deliberating over a particular purchase. This is where the desire to “get out!” often seems to originate, and it isn’t easily forgotten.
Thirdly, avoid toy aisles and beware of popular of character endorsement on innocent looking items such as toothbrushes and yoghurt. This is less easy than you’d think: Luna has never watched TV, and “frozen” is still just an adjective to her: “Do you like Frozen?” Blank look from Luna – I’m guessing she’s thinking, “frozen what? Finish your sentence!” And yet despite this, she’s still drawn to that chilly pair with their gigantic eyes and their toothy snowman sidekick like a baby is drawn to hazardous household objects.
So for the big weekly shop, we’ll stick to the delivery option for now and the only real challenge will be getting the Mummies’ emergency bar of chocolate surreptitiously from the bag to the top shelf of the fridge while the children are waving goodbye to the delivery van.