26 February 2010

A Day Out

It's 2006. I'm going out for the day with my best friend.

I'm wearing smart clothes, matching accessories and make up.

I take with me my handbag containing a mirror, lip gloss, phone, keys, purse and nail file.

I'm going to buy eyeshadow, lip gloss, nail varnish (I wonder who has free gifts on offer today?), a handbag, boots or shoes (or both), a top and a pretty cardigan.

For lunch we have posh pasta and a glass of wine in a bistro.

We spend our time chatting.

We end our day in a wine bar admiring our purchases.


Fast forward to 2010. I'm dragging the children to the retail park.

I'm wearing clothes with yoghurt on them, no accessories (matching or otherwise) and no make up.

I take with me my handbag/changing bag containing a mirror, lip gloss, phone, keys, purse and nail file AND nappies, nappy sacks, wipes, water, rice cakes, cereal bars, hand wash, changes of clothes for each of the boys, The Gruffalo (the book, not the creature), Milton wipes and bibs.

I'm going to buy new shoes for the boys (I will not weep as I hand over my credit card, well, not much) and Calpol, Vaseline, and baby porridge from Boots (ooh, the porridge is BOGOF - result!). I will walk straight past the Clarins Free Gift display without even looking to see what's on offer. I will look at my Boots points and mentally convert them into nappies.

For lunch we have sandwiches and cake in a cafe. I balance my coffee on top of the pushchair and pray there are two highchairs free. I clean the table before and after we sit down. I also clean the boys' trousers and pick up most of their discarded sandwiches from the floor. I wish I'd eaten the sandwiches and given them the crusts if they were going to throw them on the floor. They want my coffee, I won't let them have any, there's a scene. 

We spend our time saying 'excuse me please', ramming shop displays by accident, tutting at the lack of pushchair access, complaining loudly to no one in particular that you wouldn't get a wheelchair through that gap, checking no one has tried to shop lift each time we leave a shop, faffing about with the rain-cover and moaning about the lack of available parent and child spaces in the car park.

We end our day sitting in school traffic, one of us has a smelly nappy, one of us is still saying 'coffee' in between sobs and one of us is taking ibuprofen washed down with crumby water from a child's beaker. We get home, unload the car, realise we've been overcharged for porridge and decide we can live with it if it means never going back to the retail park ever again!

Photo Credit


  1. I enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for sharing~ I'm sure I'll be able to relate to this some day - lol!

  2. OH GOD this takes me back. You have described it perfectly - I so remember cleaning the table and trousers of crumbs and having a bag full of all the baby stuff.
    Let me assure you it does get better. Soon they will be at school and you can have those girly lunches again....!

  3. Brilliant post.
    Hope you manage to have a 2006 day again, very soon! x

  4. I echo Jordan's comment - brilliant!
    I LOL'd at this, which makes it worth every second! Thanks.

  5. this post made me want to cry a bit. Brilliantly written my dear. Loved it. even if it did make me feel a bit woe is me for a couple of minutes ;)

  6. This is my life.

    By some stroke of luck I shall be having a 2006 day tomorrow as I'm escaping for a night away with the girls. OMG I'm so blumming excited!!

    Hope you get one soon too xxxxx

  7. Great post. Sometimes I feel like I have a split personality (not ACTUALLY) - there's the BC (Before Child) me and the mummy me. *sigh* But at least we're past the baby porridge phase.

  8. You've just got it spot on. This is exactly what it's like. Now where's my Advantage card?

  9. Sounds oh too familiar. I have given up saying no to the coffee and just buy decaf, when did I become hostage to 2 curly haired terrorists?

  10. Oh dear. Sounds familiar!

    I wish you had an actual real life Gruffalo in your bag though. That'd be cool!

  11. Bless you - I promise it will get better!!

  12. Don't you just love motherhood!

  13. A great post and a great memory to keep, as when they are older it will all seem a blur.

  14. I've just done the 'What's in your bag' meme and was thinking how different my hangbag is now (as a pregnant woman) to how different it will be in 4 months time when I am a parent!

  15. Sounds like you could do with a nice girly day out shopping on your own!

  16. Its just not worth it is it? It takes me weeks to psyche myself up for shopping trips and every time I swear 'never again'

  17. As it stands with us... Little Man is in school, and Dot is in her pushchair so I haven't quite reached the omg stage yet... it'll happen though. :)

  18. Excellent - this post is bang on!

  19. Just another 10 or 15 years and you can leave them at home and go on girly shopping trips again. Sorry, not much comfort that, is it?

  20. Melroxx, thank you. You have been warned! ;-)

    Trish, thank you waving a light at the end of the tunnel! :-)

    Jordan, thank you. Me too! x

    Potential Mummy B, thank you, glad you enjoyed it :-)

    Heather, thank you. It's at times like this that we must remember the mummy mantra 'this too shall pass'!

  21. Insomniac Mummy, I'm soooo jealous! :-)

    Nickie, sad, but true!

    Deer Baby, I've got £35 to spend. That should keep us in nappies for a few weeks!

    The Mad House, haha, I think you just choose your battles! :-)

    Slim Lens, glad it's not just me! :-)

  22. Liz, thanks. They're not even that keen on baby porridge, but I don't like them to have Weetabix every single day! x

    Photo Puddle, wouldn't that be BRILLIANT! :-)

    Diney, THANK YOU! :-)

    Muummmmeeeee, amazingly enough, I do! :-)

    B, you're right. I'm sure in a few years I'll have forgotten the trauma of shopping!

  23. Alice, I think you'll be needing a bigger bag! ;-) x

    Nova, :-) x

    Geekymummy, I went to the same retail park on my own yesterday. I didn't enjoy it really. Came home with nothing for me, but loads of stuff for the boys!

    Last of the Mojitos, first of all, brilliant blog name (and fab blog)! I know, it's not worth it half the time. I'll go again in a few months when I've forgotten the horror!

    Beth, it's a bit easier with just one!! :-)

  24. Suki-Lou, thank you :-)

    Working Mum, NOOOOOO!!!!!! ;-)

  25. This made me giggle after my recent trip away for 3 days. I used to jump in the car and go with one small bag. Now the car was full and I still forgot 1 or 2 things!

  26. I have tears welling up in my eyes - both for you and in mourning for those lost days of the lavish, luxurious girly afternoons out.
    Do you, once a month husbands should have to have the children by law, and we should have to go and waste money and time on ourselves. I don't care that the kitchen need doing, or the car needs a new plastic thingy under the exhaust.
    I want to go and buy nice shoes and eat nice food.
    Might compensate myself with a splurge on ASOS later after I've cleansed the sofa of muesli and the walls of crayon marks.

  27. The Moiderer, I know, taking the boys to Hotel Grandma and Grandad for the night means a full car boot! I'm so sorry to hear about your holiday from hell. Is your little one better now? x

    Baby Genie, I've arranged to meet my oldest friend for a day out to celebrate our 40th birthdays. I can't wait! x


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