Monday 15 December 2008

Retail therapy or retail stress?

Not being a big fan of shopping with a kid or two in tow, I blew up a whole bunch of money online a couple of weeks ago, mostly on clothes for myself (my valid excuse being that at present, I can’t yet squeeze into my pre-pregnancy clothes and neither can I be expected to live in my maternity sweats for months on end). But there’s only so much you can buy online. How, for example, do you buy trousers/jeans online since you don’t have any way of checking the fit? So, quite reluctantly, hubby and myself loaded the kids into the car and set off for our first shopping excursion. Bringing Ads along turned out to be a strategic mistake. He would have been quite content to stay at home with the grandparents but having told him that we were going to Target (his favourite store), we couldn’t very well backtrack and refuse to take him along. In any case, by the time both kids were dressed and fed, the weather forecast re-checked and sundry layers added and deleted from their clothing, we were already a half-hour over schedule. Yukta screamed as soon as she was strapped into her car seat and continued yelling all the way to the store. Her elder brother, himself strapped into his car seat, shouted across words of encouragement to stop her from crying; I wryly reminisced how, when we first moved to the US and I was a fledgling driver on American roads, he would freak me out with his screaming bouts when I was negotiating the car on a freeway at 100 km/h.

This is one of the things I miss about driving in India. A child strapped in a car seat cannot be soothed or nursed while on the move. And a child throwing a fit in the back while you are driving does nothing for your concentration or equilibrium.
So we reached the store, located a large shopping cart and stowed both kids on it (Yukta still in her car seat and mercifully now asleep). S set off for the toy section with both kids and I set about doing some of the speediest shopping of my life. Within half an hour, I received an SOS on the cellphone – Ads had pooped (what is it about Target that makes him go potty there EVERY TIME?!!!!). I rushed upstairs to clean him up. After clean-up, we thrust a banana in his hand while I headed back downstairs to resume shopping. My third time in the fitting room brought another phone call. Yukta was hungry. I went back upstairs, picked her up and went back downstairs, into the fitting room to nurse (irritatingly enough, this store didn’t have a designated area for nursing moms – how one gets used to such facilities whereas in India I have managed on far far less). After she was fed, I delivered her back to S and made one last visit to the fitting room. All this for picking up just 2 pairs of jeans! I quickly ran through the rest of my shopping list, picked up whatever I could and met S and the babies at the checkout counter. By this time, I was a little stressed and had wolfed down 4 cookies (I didn’t believe there was such a thing as emotional eating until I had kids!).

So that was our first shopping experience. It could have been far worse but for now I think I’ll stick to shopping online. All this running about ain't worth it.

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