Ah baby’s first Christmas! With all the joy that comes with baby’s first Christmas it’s easy to forget that there’s also the logistical nightmare of shopping for baby’s first Christmas – and getting all of the other presents and bits and pieces that you need besides.
So, after my experience in a manically busy town centre earlier on this week, I thought I would put together Mrs Lighty’s guide to Christmas shopping with a baby in tow:
1. Contemplate getting to the shops. You don’t have the car, so decide that the train would be best to avoid the Christmas traffic.
2. Remember that you can’t get the buggy down the steps onto the platform and that there’s no lift, so you’ll have to go by bus instead, therefore sitting in the traffic that you’d hoped to avoid, and with a grizzly baby annoying your fellow passengers to boot.
3. Start as you mean to go on. Zoom around as many shops as possible before the baby’s next feed is due.
4. Baby’s grizzling gets to the point where you know you’ve really got to stop and feed him but you’re nowhere near a suitable cafe. Give him a dummy, hope for the best whilst simultaneously hoping that you won’t be judged by your fellow shoppers for giving him a dummy.
5. Go to three coffee shops before finding one that has gluten free food (good old M&S! Well, Mrs Lighty needs sustenance as well as Baby Lighty!), as all the gluten free stuff has been replaced by non-gluten free mince pies and Christmas sandwiches.
6. Realise that Baby Lighty has fallen asleep in the time it’s taken you to find somewhere (this does at least give you time to eat your gluten free sandwich and express your gluten freak rage on Twitter!).
7. Finally feed the baby.
8. Worry about whether the baby changing rooms also have a toilet that you can use, as two cups of tea with your lunch post-pregnancy probably wasn’t a good idea!
9. Change baby. Phew there’s a toilet for Mrs Lighty too!!
10. Go back into the throng of shoppers. Experience and try to suppress the buggy rage you’re feeling. I assume that the unwritten rule of helping other mothers out goes out the window at Christmas as a fellow buggy wielding mother pushes in from of me for the lift yet again!
11. Reminisce about the days when you used to get a plastic bag with your shopping. Wrap a plate that you’ve bought for your friend in the rain cover for the buggy, hoping that it’ll be safe in the bottom of the buggy and that it doesn’t rain. And why is it that when you do buy a bag, it’s always a crappy bag from the likes of the poundshop rather than something sturdy that will actually last?!
12. Realise that you need to get home before Baby Lighty’s next feed, otherwise you’ll have to go through steps 5 – 9 all over again!
13. Meet up with Mummy Hatchy, who is also out shopping, as despite there being a ramp at this station, you can’t actually get the buggy on the train without her help (and you can’t face the bus with all your crappy poundshop-style bags and makeshift rain cover packaging).
14. Get home and realise that in the five and a half hours you’ve been out, you’ve only bought two main presents.
15. Vow that next year, next year, you’re doing the whole lot online!
Instructions for Christmas 2016: Repeat steps 1 – 15; inwardly curse yourself for your stupidity!
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